The Teenage Brain
By Lauren B
Teens, adolescents, or
young adults-whatever you call them display mysterious behavior. The teen brain
is still developing. In this article you will find all the information you will
ever need to know about the teenage brain.
Well, what are you waiting for? Read on.
Tech on the Teen brain
Do you think that technology could rewire the teenage brain? Many scientists believe it is possible, but then again many scientists believe it is impossible. Technology is being used more and more every day as new uses are being discovered for it. The amount of time teens spend online has tripled in the past ten years. Older teens spend about two hours on the computer each day. Here are some statistics i found from doing different yes and no surveys. 49% of parents are worried that technology is lowering their kid’s attention spans. 92% of parents believe they are in charge of protecting their kids from the internet. 83% are concerned about their kid’s safety and privacy online
Many people believe that technology provides a false sense of security that encourages teens that they will never be alone, and never separate from parents and peers. Eleven to fourteen year olds spend on average 75 minutes a day texting. An average teen does lots of texting, about fifty texts per day. More than fifty percent of teens log onto a social networking site more than twice a day.
Physiology of the teenage brain
The teenage brain works very differently from both the child and the adult brain. There are many different parts and they all do different things. Like the basal ganglia is in charge of the buzz we feel during pleasure and excitement. It is in full working order at fourteen, giving you the thrill of excitement. The amygdala is in charge of the many emotions you feel. Teen tend to rely heavily on the amygdala.
Teens tend to act impulsively because the frontal lobe is not totally mature. As the brain matures it matures from back to the front, therefore, making the frontal lobe the last to mature. As a teen you have a chance to hone your skills in anything. But the skills you don’t use, you will lose. In other words you will no longer have the ability to do that skill. It is important to exercise your brain and the neural circuits so you don’t lose important connections.
How a teen behaves depends on many factors such as, their home life their school environment, siblings, and peers. One of the greatest factors impacting teen behavior is sleep. 20% of teenagers fall asleep in the first two hours of school, because they don’t get the sleep they need. This happens because most teens have a hard time falling asleep at night, and are expected to get up early in the morning. Teens need 8.4-9.2 hours of sleep each day.
Teenagers are not able to sleep because of a change in their biological clock. Until you reach the age of ten you will wake up feeling fresh and ready to start the day. While the biological clock of preteens creates “a zone” between 9 PM and 10 PM that keeps teens from falling asleep at that time. This makes it difficult to get up and ready to learn the next day.
Teenagers love the rush of excitement that taking risks will give them. Laurence Steinberg, a developmental physiologist says “Teens don’t take more chances because they downgrade the risks; they just give more thought to the reward”.
The teen brain develops much in the teenage years. However the brain is fully developed at the age of twenty five. The emotional part of the brain develops before the parts involved in thinking and behavior. Although it is developing, the brain will not grow very much in that time. The brain is already 90% of its full size by the time you are six. Our brains undergo a massive reorganization between our 12th and our 25th year. By age 11 girls and age 12 ½ boys, the neurons in our brains make thousands of new connections.
In conclusion, the teenage brain is very complicated and in many ways very different from both the child and the adult brain. Teens have chances to learn skills that we could not do as a child. Although many teens look like an adult in body their brain is not done developing and as a result can at times act very mysteriously in behavior.
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Spinks, Sarah. "Adolescents and Sleep." PBS. Public Broadcasting System, Jan. 2012. Web. 12 Feb. 2013. .
Wallis, Claudia. Your Brain. New York: Time, 2009. Print.