Adolescence is a period of increased behavioral and psychiatric vulnerabilities. It is also a time of dramatic structural and functional neurodevelopment. In recent years studies have examined the precise nature of these brain and behavioral changes, and several hypotheses link them together. In this review we discuss this research and recent electrophysiological data from behaving rats that demonstrate reduced neuronal coordination and processing efficiency in adolescents. A more comprehensive understanding of these processes will further our knowledge of adolescent behavioral vulnerabilities and the pathophysiology of mental illnesses that manifest during this period.
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