Abigail Baird Talks Adolescent Decision-Making With Vassar “Friend”

At Vassar’s inaugural “At the Pub” event, Vassar alums Lisa Kudrow, of “Friends” fame, and Abigail Baird, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at her alma mater, settled in for a public conversation about the ever-intriguing teenage brain.

“The first important thing is that there is something happening—it’s there and it’s growing,” quipped Baird, a Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives member.

Over the course of the hour-long event, Baird discussed the different parts of the brain and how they process information and affect decision-making during the teenage years. She also talked about gender roles and how that area of study has become more interesting in recent years.

“One of the most amazing things about human development, and particularly about brain development, [is] the reason it waits is so that you can be anything that the culture needs or that is demanded of you,” said Baird. “We’ve been asking males to be more sensitive, and guess what? They are.”

Watch the complete video of the event below.

And keep an eye out for our new briefing paper on the teenage brain (in which Baird addresses adolescent risk-taking), which will be posted on our homepage in the next few weeks.

–Ann L. Whitman

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