The Check-Up: Impulsive Kids Become Impulsive Adults

Breaking news! (Not.)

File this one under “Things That Probably Won’t Surprise You.” A team of researchers tracked a group of people for 40 (!) years to learn more about decision-making and impulsive tendencies. Guess what they learned? That people who are impulsive as kids grow up to be impulsive adults, too. Are you as not shocked as me? What’s interesting in the findings, though, is that researchers determined that the folks who showed the most self-control were actually using different parts of their brains to make decisions than the impulsive ones. The more self-controlled subjects, they learned, were using their prefrontal cortex—the part of the brain located below the forehead—to make decisions, while the impulsive ones used a part of the brain called the ventral striatum.

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