The Teen Brain on Marijuana
Interview: Staci A. Gruber, PhD
Director, cognitive and clinical neuroimaging section
McLean Hospital Neuroimaging Center, a Harvard University affiliate
Marijuana use often begins during adolescence and, according to a new study, that timing is lousy -- because adolescence begins an important phase of human brain development.
Harvard psychologist and neuroimaging expert Staci Gruber, PhD, studied a group of 35 marijuana smokers between the ages of 18 and 35. Some had started before they turned 16, and others started later. She wanted to see what was happening in their brains.
Her research found that the earlier an individual starts smoking marijuana, the greater the risk of impaired cognitive abilities.
Staci Gruber conducts research at McLean Hospital, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School.