The Distracted Teenage Brain Worksheet Answers

The Distracted Teenage Brain Worksheet Answers – “I think it’s important to know before we start, that we really didn’t know 20 years ago that the brain changes fundamentally after childhood,” he revealed. “That’s what they taught me during my undergraduate years. Now we know that was completely wrong. “

When it comes to issues of established opinion, science often finds itself acting as a provocateur or even a disruptor — pushing conventional wisdom until it yields unexpected truths, sometimes overturning them entirely. The mysteries of celestial bodies, genetics and mental illness have come under dramatic scrutiny.

The Distracted Teenage Brain Worksheet Answers

The Distracted Teenage Brain Worksheet Answers

So it’s no surprise that new technologies that allow us to peer inside the brain as we process information are revolutionizing our understanding of human cognition. For example, images from an fMRI machine show that the brain does not look like a set of discrete, specialized modules—one for speech, one for vision, old models—but more like a network of integrated functions supporting each other . The same image shows that brain networks undergo dramatic, full-scale maturation in our 20s.

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These findings challenge many theories about puberty. For too long, claims about teens — from their alleged irrationality to their apparent sense of invulnerability — have spread widely and uncritically. New research shows we have a lot to rethink.

Juvenile rodents and juveniles are susceptible to peer pressure—members of both species are at greater risk when peers are present.

In a 2005 study, neuroscientist Lawrence Steinberg asked teens and adults to play a virtual driving game, testing their willingness to take risks as traffic lights changed from green to yellow to red. In the event of an accident, participants are fined. Adolescents deal with risk in the same way as adults and behave in much the same way when playing alone. But in the presence of their peers, risk-taking behaviour increased among teens and young adults — risky driving tripled for 13- to 16-year-olds, and car crashes increased — while it remained the same among adults.

A study involving rats and alcohol came to similar conclusions. The 2014 experiment exposed rodents of different ages to the equivalent of an open bar: They could drink at their leisure. Adolescent mice — those between the ages of four and five weeks — drank about the same amount of water as adults when left alone. But in the presence of other minors, they settled down as alcoholics and drank 25 percent more time. The water intake of the adult mice did not change.

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These results are not just laboratory tricks. A study published in 2012, based on actual crash data from 2007-10, found that teens had a 44% increased risk of death per mile driving alone, and increased risk of death when they traveled with one companion, and when they traveled with three passengers four times. In contrast, Blackmore wrote that for adults over 26, companionship is actually a “protective factor” who “if there are passengers, they are less likely to crash than they are alone.”

In several recent experiments, peer pressure appears to be a measurable biological phenomenon, entering the visible world as the first seismic waves recorded by seismographs. A 2013 study found that when people were told they were being watched by their peers, teens’ skin conductance readings — a measure of electrical energy caused by stress and excitement — remained higher than adults or children. Simultaneous brain scans showed marked increases in activity in key regions of the teens’ brains related to self-awareness and the ability to understand others.

It’s never been a matter of feeling invincible. For teens, being around their peers can be transformative—they understand the risks and take them no matter what.

The Distracted Teenage Brain Worksheet Answers

The culprit behind teenage adventures may be a brain network that dates back to evolutionary history—the limbic system, home to primitive instincts like fear, desire, hunger, and pleasure. “These are areas in the deep center of the brain,” explains Blackmore. “They are much older, and we share these systems with many other animals.”

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In 2014, Blackmore and two colleagues collected images of the brains of 33 people and mapped the growth rates of individual limbic systems over time. They also looked at another key area of ​​the brain: the prefrontal cortex.

Brain scans of adolescents show that the reward system matures long before the inhibitory system. This often confirms major theories of adolescent development.

The resulting plot (top) shows that limbic structures such as the nucleus accumbens undergo only modest changes during adolescence, while the volume of the prefrontal cortex changes dramatically, shrinking as they shed unused synaptic connections and reorganization. result? Brain scans appear to show that the limbic system – the brain’s reward system – is mature and at full throttle in teens, while the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for things like self-control, planning and self-awareness, is still busy developing . .

“One of the leading theories of adolescent development is that there is a mismatch between these two systems,” explains Blackmore. “The limbic system, which gives you a sense of reward for taking risks, is structurally more developed than the prefrontal cortex, and it prevents you from taking risks.”

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If that seems too clean, Blackmore agrees. “I don’t ignore social factors like transferring schools,” she warns, or “ignoring individual differences between teens.”

However, there is substantial evidence that the limbic system is overactive during adolescence. It’s not youthful irrationality or drama at work; teens do experience things like music, drugs, and the thrill of speed more intensely than adults. in his 2014 book

Steinberg also draws a line on peer influence, noting that teenage peers “lit up the same reward centers that are motivated by drugs, sex, food, and money.”

The Distracted Teenage Brain Worksheet Answers

It’s not all doom and gloom. According to Steinberg, adolescence is “the last great era of neuroplasticity in our lives,” referring to the brain’s continued capacity for intellectual and emotional growth. The same new circuits that make teens vulnerable to risky behaviors and mood swings also offer teenage students a significant advantage.

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Image of a rodent brain while learning: The brain of a young mouse shows a strong response to learning.

In the deeper layers of neurons, new information is written into the gray matter of the brain itself – expressed in structural changes at synapses that, through repeated exposure, form increasingly permanent memory networks. A study conducted in 2002 provides a fascinating window into the brain at the moment of learning. The upper panel shows the electrical responses to new information in adolescent and adult mice, indicated by red arrows. Like a sharper bell, the brains of adolescent mice responded more intensely—and then for longer.

That’s good news — a clear sign that teenage brains are naturally more receptive to learning, Frances Jensen says in her 2015 book.

.Adolescent animals simply “show a faster learning curve than adults” and we retain the ability to even increase basic attributes like IQ during adolescence.

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Taking a direct approach: Having candid conversations with teens about their brain development can provide useful context for their emotional world and update their expectations about their potential for further intellectual development. “We know that people like biological explanations. This is true in neurological stroke patients — showing that the brain is plastic and can change and heal is very useful,” Blackmore said.

Explaining the role of the limbic system, peer influence, and the flexibility of the adolescent brain lays the groundwork for students to better understand themselves and take control of their emotional and academic lives. Blackmore insists it’s also a simple matter of respect: “They have a right to know,” he said flatly. “It’s happening in their brains.”

Use Peer Pressure for Good: Peer pressure and social influence can also be used for good deeds. Research on smoking, for example, shows that teens ignore warnings about the long-term health consequences of cigarettes, but respond to social consequences. It’s more telling to remind teens that cigarettes “give you bad breath or put young kids at risk,” Blackmore said. Teens “also respond to the idea that this is an adult industry that uses them to make money. It has been shown to help with smoking and healthy eating.

The Distracted Teenage Brain Worksheet Answers

Schools are aware of many of these social dynamics and are using teen leaders, social influencers, and calling for justice and equity to change behaviors related to vaping, bullying and academic cheating.

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Learn to self-regulate: It’s not too late. The prefrontal cortex, which controls executive function, is still developing and remains highly sensitive to environment and training during adolescence. Granted, explicitly teaching self-regulation, long-term planning, and empathy may have particular benefits for teens.

According to Steinberg, efforts to improve teens’ self-regulation “are more likely to be effective in reducing risky behaviors than those limited to providing information about risky activities.” Show teens “how to regulate emotions, manage stress, and consider the feelings of others.” A social and emotional education program can positively impact executive functioning.

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