Teenagers are risk seekers. Linda van Leijenhorst has discovered why: their brains are extra sensitive for rewards, while the brain areas that are supposed to keep a person´s behavior under control have not yet fully matured.
Van Leijenhorst’s research is centered around the question how the ability to control our thoughts and behavior changes with development, and how this development relates to changes in brain function and structure. She examines these questions in children, adolescents and young adults using behavioral as well as functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) methods. In a novel research domain she aims to demonstrate how the way children learn is related to brain development.