Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Readings, Program One

The Adolescent Brain:  A Work In Progress

It has been commonly thought that teenagers brains are adult brains in adjusting bodies.  However, some research is showing that the frontal lobes (reasoning and reflection) are the last parts of the brain to mature (as late as age 20).  However, the amygdala, the part of the brain that covers emotional responses is fully functional, so a lot of times teenagers react instinctively rather than thinking.  In the article was also the possible effects of substance abuse for teenagers.  Now that research is showing the change in brain activity in your teens the use of alcohol and other drugs can potentially disrupt or stop those changes.  Lastly is sleep patterns for teenagers.  The article mentions that many parents and teachers complain that teenagers stay up late and sleep in.  Research has now shown that teenagers need around 9 hours of sleep and don't wake up until around 8-9.  Some school are experimenting with having classes start later in the day to compensate.  

What Makes Them Tick

This article in many ways is very similar to the first one in what they have to say.  In fact they both include many of the same doctors and research.  One of the areas that this articles differs is the depth it talks about the difference between the biological and neurological changes during puberty.  It was generally thought that during these years the rebellious attitude were the hormones and they did risky and dangerous things because of them.  However, as in the last article research is being done to show that it is because the teens lack the maturity in the frontal cortex.  The article then talks about how to possibly handle children during this time assuming that the change is more in the brain than in the hormones.

1 comment:

mabroda said...

Thank you Michael. I would like to see more depth of analysis in the future. I would like for your to not just say what they are discussing, but describe the key findings and concepts that re being developed and discussed.