The most active peaks of human brain development has been found to take place during the teenage years. Scientists have found that genetic brain development is at its highest during the early months of pregnancy and during the teenage years. The brains development looks like an undulation, beginning with the initial surge of genetic expression during the first two- thirds of our formation in the uterus. This is when the cerebral cortex begins to develop, forming the part of the brain that controls perception, behavior, and cognition. After a plateau, genetic expression spikes again during the teenage years for the final point of the brain’s development.
This research does not discount points during adolescence. During adolescence, the brain is continuing to develop and this is the most important time for shaping and growth. According to Nenad Sestan, a neurobiology professor, the findings show the importance of the genetic expression during the childhood years because these are what shapes how the brain structures will be used later in life.