2 Frontline: Inside the Teenage Brain ws/teenbrain/
3 The Brain Weighs about 3 pounds “The most complicated mass of matter in the known universe.”Contains over 10 billion neurons and another 100 billion support cells.Eventually forms over 100 trillion connections.Brain controls ALL activityConstantly changing and adaptingNeurons are capable of re- routing circuits
4 Terminology Neurons: Axon: Dendrite: Synapse: Specialized cells that transmit information to other nerve cells or muscles.Axon:An electricity conducting fiber that carries information away from the cell body.Dendrite:Receives messages from other neuronsSynapse:Contact point where one neuron “communicates” with another neuron.Source: Sullivan, 2006
6 Brain Development 2 stages: Growth spurts are seen at younger ages Growth spurts or overproduction of neuronsPruningGrowth spurts are seen at younger agesPruning happens during adolescence“Use it or lose it”
7 BRAIN STRUCTURES Frontal Lobe Parietal Lobe Temporal Lobe Occipital LobeCerebellumCorpus CallosumBrain StemSource: University of Utah, 2006
9 Frontal Lobe Responsible for: Personality, judgment, reasoning, problem solving, rational decision making,Logic and understanding of consequencesGoverns impulsivity, aggression,Organizing thoughts, planning for the futureUndergoes significant changes during adolescenceNot fully developed until mid-20’s.
10 Prefrontal Cortex Part of the frontal lobe: Helps with impulse control, judgments, reasoningOne of the last areas of the brain to develop fully.During this time, there is an increased need for:Structure, mentoring, and guidance from adults
11 Temporal LobesControl hearing, understanding speech, sorting new information and short-term memoryContains:Amygdala and hippocampusMatures around years of age.
12 The Teenage Brain Underdevelopment of frontal cortex leads to: More “gut” reactions than reasoningMore likely to use amygadala (emotions) than prefrontal cortex (reasoning) for information processing.It takes experience to train the brain.