The Relation of Worldwide Crimes to the Prefrontal Cortex


[ Police report of the murder]

Drama and Science literature all around the world often includes the function of the prefrontal cortex, which is the underdeveloped part of the brain in teens. The prefrontal cortex plays a role in the cognitive control functions, it is responsible for decision making and the control of impulses.

On May 20, 2022, it was reported by the police that an 11 year old girl was shot and killed by a 15 year old boy. The boy was being driven by an 18-year-old who had been the victim of gun violence twice before.

“Ages eleven, fifteen, and eighteen,” Mayor Eric Adams stated, “Kids killing kids.”

On the same day, May 20, in Cathedral City, a 17 year old has been arrested in connection with the murder of a man. The teen was arrested by the Riverside County gang impact team, as said by the police.

Noticing how teens and young adults are usually the ones reported to commit crimes, the cause for this is related to the brain development which is represented in literature and movies.

Romeo and Juliet, written by William Shakespeare, would be an example of how it is used in stories such as tragedies.

Shakespeare had put a lot of knowledge into his plays, including about how teens act, and the choices they make, which are mostly all related to the prefrontal cortex.

[ Romeo and Juliet’s death 1968 film scene]

“I do think things would’ve ended differently if they were adults, they would have more common sense,” Dasha Ermakova mentioned, “And I’d say the way it ended was probably because young people tend to make stupid decisions that get them to bad situations.”

Decision making comes from the front of the brain, the prefrontal cortex. The role it plays is very important for people’s safety. The prefrontal cortex fully develops around the age of 25, as mentioned in ”Maturation of the adolescent brain” article. Teens in real life have an underdeveloped prefrontal cortex, which is why they are seen as “immature,” because of their poor decision making.

[The prefrontal cortex part of the brain]

Romeo and Juliet’s bad choices have led them to their deaths. In the play, they never really thought things through or really tried to be aware of the consequences, they let their emotions control every action they made instead of being realistic and thinking logically.

Another example may be pretty much any kind of horror movie. Most horror movies’ main protagonists are usually teenagers or kids. Film creators often choose the main character to be immature, so it’s easier to forgive them for getting into extremely dangerous or scary situations.

It was also scientifically proven that teens—especially males—commit crimes more frequently than adults. An explanation may be that teenagers react more impulsively to threatening situations than do children or adults.

An experiment was made that proves this point. In Emily Underwood’s article, Kristina Caudle and her colleagues gathered people ranging in age from six to twenty-nine to set up a simple ‘’Go/No Go’’task, in which teenagers made about 15% more errors than adults and children.

Teens in real life are at higher risk of getting into accidents, for example, the risk of car or motor vehicles are higher among teens of the age 16-19 and 33% of deaths among 13 to 19 year old occurred in car accidents. Overall, They have much more risk of any kinds of injury than adults.

Although teen drivers are less likely to drink and drive, their crash risk is substantially higher when they do, as said in Teen DUI Statistics article.

[Teen drunk driving]

Around the age of 25, people become more aware of their surroundings and choices they make. Because the prefrontal cortex has fully developed, their decision making becomes more mature and careful. They may think more about consequences and their attention span improves.