Is Adolescence a Sensitive Period for the Development of Incentive-Reward Motivation?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Scopus citations


Human adolescence is broadly construed as a time of heightened risk-taking and a vulnerability period for the emergence of psychopathology. These tendencies have been attributed to the age-related development of neural systems that mediate incentive motivation and other aspects of reward processing as well as individual difference factors that interact with ongoing development. Here, we describe the adolescent development of incentive motivation, which we view as an inherently positive developmental progression, and its associated neural mechanisms. We consider challenges in applying the sensitive period concept to these maturational events and discuss future directions that may help to clarify mechanisms of change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCurrent Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages21
StatePublished - 2022

Publication series

NameCurrent Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences
ISSN (Print)1866-3370
ISSN (Electronic)1866-3389

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG.


  • Agency
  • Dopamine
  • Motivation
  • Neurodevelopment
  • Prefrontal
  • Reward
  • Humans
  • Adolescent
  • Psychopathology

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Review
  • Journal Article


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