What is the neurological basis of procrastination

Psychiatry, Psychosomatics & Psychotherapy


The transition from child to adult goes hand in hand with biological maturation steps, commonly referred to as puberty are designated. These physical changes are controlled by various hormones, which in turn influence body growth, changes in the proportion of muscle tissue to adipose tissue, the maturation and resilience of the respiratory system and blood circulation, as well as the development of secondary sexual characteristics and the maturation of the sexual organs. Secondary gender characteristics include pubic and body hair, breast development in girls, and change in voice pitch. As part of the growth spurt between the ages of 12 and 14 years for boys and between 10 and 12 years for girls, the body length experiences an increase of up to 10 centimeters per year. Ultimately, puberty is initiated by an increased release of pituitary hormones, which stimulate the growth and functionality of the sexual organs and have an influence on the central nervous system. In addition to biological maturation processes, malnutrition, extreme physical strain and emotional stress can fundamentally influence the pace of development during puberty. Malnutrition, such as is deliberately brought about in the context of anorexia, or physical illnesses can halt or delay the development of puberty. In contrast, there are indications that emotional stress can accelerate physical maturation. At four to five years of age, the time spread of puberty development is relatively high for both sexes, so that each person enters puberty in a specifically individual way, without corresponding differences in the age of entry being medically and biologically significant.


The manifold biological changes are accompanied by a series of psychosocial changes that mark the adolescent's slow entry into the adult world. This "psychosocial puberty" is known as adolescence, which is accompanied by profound changes in subjective experience and also calls for a normative reorientation. However, not all adolescents go through a normative crisis in this phase; most of these adolescents cope with this phase of life without a critical escalation. Adolescence ranges from 11 to 21 years of age. The age of 11 to 14 years is regarded as early adolescence, the middle phase encompasses the 15 to 18 year of life, the late adolescence the years 18 to 21. In adolescence, the brain functions also undergo a restructuring, neural networks are reorganized, selection and specification processes in the area of ​​the individual neural connections take place. This leads to the selective dissolution of neuronal connections in different brain centers, whereby above all those connections and pathways that are rarely used are withdrawn in favor of frequently activated neuronal networks, which experience a functional improvement as a result. This leads to significant changes in the area of ​​cognition and affect regulation.