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The Adolescent Brain. Frontline: Inside the Teenage Brain ws/teenbrain/http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/sho.

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Presentation on theme: "The Adolescent Brain. Frontline: Inside the Teenage Brain ws/teenbrain/http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/sho."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Adolescent Brain

2 Frontline: Inside the Teenage Brain ws/teenbrain/http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/sho 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 activity Constantly changing and adapting Neurons are capable of re- routing circuits

4 Terminology Neurons: ▫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 neurons Synapse: ▫Contact point where one neuron “communicates” with another neuron. Source: Sullivan, 2006

5 Source: University of Utah, 2006

6 Brain Development 2 stages: ▫Growth spurts or overproduction of neurons ▫Pruning Growth spurts are seen at younger ages Pruning happens during adolescence ▫“Use it or lose it”

7 BRAIN STRUCTURES Frontal Lobe Parietal Lobe Temporal Lobe Occipital Lobe Cerebellum Corpus Callosum Brain Stem Source: University of Utah, 2006

8

9 Frontal Lobe Responsible for: ▫Personality, judgment, reasoning, problem solving, rational decision making, ▫Logic and understanding of consequences ▫Governs impulsivity, aggression, ▫Organizing thoughts, planning for the future ▫Undergoes significant changes during adolescence  Not fully developed until mid-20’s.

10 Prefrontal Cortex Part of the frontal lobe: ▫Helps with impulse control, judgments, reasoning ▫One 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 Lobes Control hearing, understanding speech, sorting new information and short-term memory Contains: ▫Amygdala and hippocampus Matures around years of age.

12 The Teenage Brain Underdevelopment of frontal cortex leads to: ▫More “gut” reactions than reasoning  More likely to use amygadala (emotions) than prefrontal cortex (reasoning) for information processing. ▫It takes experience to train the brain.


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