The Brain Develops Longer Than You Think

Homer Simpson xray

 “Everything we do, every thought we’ve ever had, is produced by the human brain. But exactly how it operates remains one of the biggest unsolved mysteries, and it seems the more we probe its secrets, the more surprises we find.”   – Neil deGrasse Tyson

How often have you been told, or even thought to yourself, “Have fun while you’re young and get serious when you get older”? This has always made sense. Of course, kids act stupid and are going to make bad decisions, but it’ll all work out as long as they mature by the time it really matters. Turns out this advice might not be as practical as we had all originally thought.

I recently came across a brief Q&A with the author of the newly released book Change Your Brain, Change Your Life: Before 25, Jesse Payne. His book is about the development of the brain and details how most people don’t understand that the brain continues to develop until around 25 years of age. For me, a 24-year-old, this was a terrifying piece of information to read. I had heard it briefly before and didn’t put much stock in it because it wasn’t the widely held belief at the time. Though it probably still isn’t widely known, that doesn’t make it any less true.

Now that I am on the precipice of hitting that quarter-of-a-century mark, I look back and wish that I had fostered my brain a little more and took the time to understand exactly how it was developing. Interestingly, the brain develops from back to front – your prefrontal cortex being the last area of the brain to fully develop in your mid-twenties.

The prefrontal cortex is the area of the brain that controls “judgment, forethought, impulse control, learning from mistakes, focus, attention,” and plenty of other things. I think it’s safe to say those are all pretty important aspects on what makes us who we are and how we continue to grow as people. This doesn’t mean that if you’re over the age of 25, give up – of course not. We are always growing and changing, and so are our brains.

Master your thoughts and discipline yourself to resist or moderate things that may be harmful to your mind – your brain is in constant need of care and growth, don’t let it down!

Please, share your thoughts on this subject.