The real stories of adolescents who made life-altering choices – from hacking to terrorism – that led to disastrous results. Journalist Dina Temple-Raston goes beyond the headline-grabbing effects to talk with the young people about the causes of their decisions. She also dives into the latest science to explore how the adolescent brain contributes to risky behavior and how we can help it choose more wisely. Learn more at Audible.com/adolescentbrain.
We visit programs that help adolescents make better choices, including a Moroccan morchidat center that helps counter Islamist radicalization and a NYC high-school teacher focused on “mindful fitness.” Finally, we go deeper into the science of the adolescent brain and the role white matter plays in its evolution.
[Contains sensitive themes] Dillon Cossey felt isolated and alone… until he turned to the internet to connect with other victims of bullying which led to him poring over sites about school shootings. Not long after, he was arrested. In this episode, we see how chronic bullying can change the adolescent brain and, along with other significant factors, can lead to violence. Also, we hear from Sue Klebold, mother of one of the Columbine High School shooters.
Hear the private thoughts of Felix Graham, a British teen struggling to redefine himself after quitting the internet games he spent countless hours playing. Plus, we travel to South Korea where the government is providing programs and feedback to young people who are over dependent on smartphones and internet gaming. And finally, we hear from neuroscientists about how neuroplasticity may make adolescents susceptible to addiction, but also more likely to be able to rewire.
[Contains mature themes] Seemingly happy high-schooler Riley Winters, killed herself at age 15. It was one of many suicides in Colorado Springs that year, a sharp increase that showed no signs of slowing. In this episode, we travel to Riley’s hometown to talk to friends and family, and find that suicide is more complicated than depression.
Ryan Green explains how the thrill of hacking and being considered “elite” prompted him to hijack 77,000 computers at once. And a look into how the adolescent brain’s hunger for the “feel good” chemical, dopamine, drives young people to push boundaries and take risks.
Abdullahi Yusuf went from winning Minnesotan high-school football player to ISIS recruit in less than a year. He opens up publicly for the first time on how his search for identity ended up in radicalization. Plus, leading scientists explore why Abdullahi’s brain may have been hard-wired to make these decisions.