The teen brain values reward over risk. That’s been long-known. But a new study from University of Pittsburgh researchers says teen aren’t risk-takers because they’re seeking a surge of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that helps control the brains reward and pleasure centers.

According to new research, when faced with the prospect of a reward, their dopamine neurons are less activated than in adults.

Young Men of Color Learn How to Interview Their Role Models

Jan 8, 2015
Crossing Fences

Since 2012, the Crossing Fences project has been using audio and radio to connect generations and continue the oral tradition in Pittsburgh.

The project, run by local radio program Saturday Light Brigade, gathers African-American students in neighborhoods such as Homewood, the Hill District, and Sto-Rox, and teaches them about audio engineering.

During this time, members of Crossing Fences and the students discussed role models within the community. The students then had to reach out to these role models and plan, record and edit an interview with them.

Joining us to discuss the project are Larry Berger, executive director and Chanessa Schuler, multi-media specialist of Saturday Light Brigade Radio.

Ryan Loew / 90.5 WESA

People often think of the library as a place to sit quietly while reading or studying.

But the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh is challenging that stereotype by turning the library into a creative hub for teens.

It was the second week of June, and Pittsburgh Public Schools had been out of session for two days. And yet, half a dozen teenagers and pre-teens were sitting around a table, enthusiastically engaging in a lesson about ancient Egypt.

“What do we know about Egypt and why was it such a big deal?” asked Oliva Hric, museum educator with the Carnegie Library of Natural History. “Can you think of anything in the landscape that maybe would make Egypt a really great place to live?”

“Because they were on the Nile River they could have had a good water supply,” answered 12-year-old Jonathan Freeman, clearly familiar with the concept.

Freeman and the other teens weren’t at summer school; they were at The Labs at the Carnegie library’s East Liberty branch.

A New Approach to Preventing Teen Smoking

Jan 15, 2014
UPMC / University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

A study published in the Journal of School Health finds media literacy is more effective in preventing teenagers from smoking than traditional anti-smoking efforts.

Dr. Brian Primack, associate professor of medicine and pediatrics, and director of the Program for Research on Media and Health at University of Pittsburgh was lead author in the study.

Primack describes a hypothetical comparison from his study's findings.

The legal drinking age in the U.S. is 21, but as many people who’ve gone through high school and who are familiar with pop culture know, kids finds ways around that all the time.

A new study from researchers at the University of Pittsburgh finds that teens that do their drinking alone may be at greater risk for alcohol problems later in life.

Flickr user Renée S. Suen

The adage “You are what you eat” is considered to be fairly universal, but researchers at the University of Pittsburgh say it’s what you don’t eat that might make the bigger impact.

According to a new study, diets lacking omega-3 fatty acids can have negative effects over generations, especially on teens.

A team led by Bita Moghaddam, a professor of neuroscience at Pitt, found second-generation deficiencies of omega-3s caused heightened states of anxiety, hyperactivity and slower learning ability.