Well, that’s a relief! To suppose that brain development more or less stops at the end of adolescence implies all that happens afterwards is just adding data. Surely there’s more to things like prudence, levelheadedness, and understanding of others than just added data.
It has been a long-held belief in medical communities that the human brain stopped developing in adolescence. But now there is evidence when examining the development of wiring in some parts of the brain this is not in fact the case, thanks to medical research conducted in the Department of Biomedical Engineering by researcher Christian Beaulieu, an Alberta Innovates – Health Solutions scientist, and by his PhD student at the time, Catherine Lebel. Lebel recently moved to the United States to work at UCLA, where she is a post-doctoral fellow working with an expert in brain-imaging research.
“This is the first long-range study, using a type of imaging that looks at brain wiring, to show that in the white matter there are still structural changes happening during young adulthood,” says Lebel. “The white matter is the wiring of the brain; it connects different regions to facilitate cognitive abilities. So the connections are strengthening as we age in young adulthood.”