Scientists Analyze Adolescent Brain Development to Understand Teens' Health Choices

Multidisciplinary meeting on the relationship between adolescent brain development, substance abuse and behavioral and emotional health

The New York Academy of Sciences sponsored a three-day conference to bring together basic scientists and clinical researchers to discuss what is known about adolescent brain development and how this development affects behavioral health choices such as tobacco use.

The meeting was held in conjunction with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and its national program, Research Network on the Etiology of Tobacco Dependence (TERN).

Key Results

  • The conference, "Adolescent Brain Development: Vulnerabilities and Opportunities" took place September 18–20, 2003, at the New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS) in New York City.
  • The conference brought together 257 physicians, psychologists, psychiatrists, neurobiologists, and other basic and clinical researchers.
  • The researchers discussed the neurobehavioral changes that occur during normal adolescent development and that contribute to increased risk-taking, reward-seeking and other behaviors that emerge in adolescence.
  • Proceedings of the conference are available online.


RWJF provided $30,000 to the University of Kentucky Research Foundation in partial support of the conference.

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