Associate Professor, Psychology
She Explores the Mystery of the Adolescent Brain.
So what’s with teenagers? A lot of parents would like to know. And neuroscientist Adriana Galván is providing some answers. In her UCLA lab, she uses a combination of behavioral techniques and neuroimaging to reveal the fascinating connections between brain development and behavior. Galván and her research team study children, adults and adolescents to understand the differences in how their brains work, especially when it comes to decision-making, risk-taking and emotion. No wonder she’s the winner of major awards from the American Psychological Association, the Cognitive Neuroscience Society and multiple foundations. And the more she understands about how the adolescent brain unfolds, the more Galván delights in its innovation and openness. “At no other time in life is there greater intrinsic motivation to explore new experiences than during adolescence. We should celebrate this period of development, not pathologize it,” Galván says.