CACSAP  Sept. 29, 2005    A Conversation About...   Brain Development  in  Children and Adolescents:  What We Know Now

CACSAP Sept. 29, 2005 A Conversation About... Brain Development in Children and Adolescents: What We Know Now PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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CACSAP Sept. 29, 2005 A Conversation About... Brain Development in Children and Adolescents: What We Know Now

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30. Brain Changes: From Childhood to Adolescence Without the basic survival skills, adolescents are desperately ill-prepared succeed in navigating the waters of the neurophysiological changes natural to adolescence and they end up mentally, emotionally and socially adrift. In the earliest stages of life, children make high demands on their parents for learning/mastering basic survival skills. Good parenting is essential for the development of the critical neural networks. More neural connections going from the subcortical emotional centers to the cerebral cortex until age ten. The density of these connections increases during puberty, but there is also a reversal in the ratio of connections to and from these two brain regions (especially to and from the frontal lobes) during adolescence.

31. Brain Changes: Adolescence With the onset of puberty -- natural tendency to reverse the dependency on parents and adults. Teenagers want more control and less dependency (not because they want to be difficult -- neurochemical and hormonal changes, mood swings, bodily growth spurts and neurological brain spurts, cortical and regional connectivity renovations, accompanied by a consciousness that Things are changing inside me and around me, and I dont know why, etc. sponsor these changes) Puberty: The brain blossoms with new brain cells and neural connections. Between puberty and young adulthood, the frontal lobes undergo wholesale renovation. A. FL shrinkage - extraneous neural branching gets pruned. B. Neural circuits that have been frequently used get consolidated and others are pruned away.

32. Brain Changes: Adolescence Age 12-14: general ease of language learning begins its decline. The density and number of synapses in the language regions begin to decrease rapidly. There are different sensitive periods (windows) for different aspects of language such as grammar, phonology, semantics Secondary schools should attempt to mirror these developmental and neurobiological process (including a later start time, more independent study, opportunities for self-expression and creativity (art, or music, or sports), etc. Rebellion?: A neurobiological need to show that one can now become a fully-functional independent human being. At this stage, adolescents (for natural of reasons related to evolutionary psychology) get completely turned off by schooling because school demands conformity at a time when their biology insists on the opposite.

33. Teens use less of the prefrontal region than adults, during the cortical processing (or reading) of the emotions expressed by others.

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