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Cognitive Development August 8, 2005 Cognitive Development Website: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/teenbrain/ Take Home Messages: Cognitive development explodes during adolescence Situational, not consistent across all areas Influences both social and inner worlds Myths

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cognitive development

Cognitive Development

August 8, 2005

cognitive development2
Cognitive Development
  • Website: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/teenbrain/
  • Take Home Messages:
    • Cognitive development explodes during adolescence
    • Situational, not consistent across all areas
    • Influences both social and inner worlds
myths
Myths
  • Cognitive development is consistent and even
  • Teens are able to use their newfound intelligence to make the right decisions consistently
  • Adolescents avoid thinking about their own thinking
brain reorganization
Brain Reorganization
  • Head and brain size increase during physical development
  • Neural development – electrical pathways in the brain increase, networks increase in size and number, linkages overlap/intersect
  • Frontal lobe/cerebral cortex – higher order thinking (abstract)
  • Nutrition important – need sleep, vitamins, no drugs/alcohol, etc.
brain hemispheres
Brain Hemispheres
  • Lateralization – two sides of the brain differentiate
  • Generally, boys have brains that are more lateralized (testosterone?)
  • Right-handed – language located in the left hemisphere
  • Left-handed males – less lateralized for language
information processing
Information Processing
  • “Mind as a computer”
  • Two assumptions
    • Knowledge as a process, sequential
    • Limited capacity (memory)
information processing7
Information Processing
  • Input – anything in the environment
  • Sensory memory – information received through senses (sight, hearing, etc.)
  • Short-term – “7 bits” +/- of information
    • Chunking – SS#, phone numbers
  • Long-term – stored, can be retrieved later
processes
Processes
  • Strategies used
    • Rehearsal – repetition
    • Association – “tree”
    • Mnemonics – using images, letters
  • Serial positioning
    • Primacy – first on a list
    • Recency – last learned, first out
changes in thinking
Changes in Thinking
  • Volume (quantity) and type (quality)
  • Faster – have greater knowledge base
  • Abstraction – hypothetical, other perspectives/points of view
  • Possibilities – more systematic, consider alternatives, several ways to address problems
changes in thinking10
Changes in Thinking
  • Multiple dimensions – understand sarcasm (and start using it a lot!), multiple interpretations, see multiple aspects
  • Metacognition/Meta-thinking – thinking about thinking, affects social life…think about what others think about us
changes in thinking11
Changes in Thinking
  • Relativism – fewer absolutes, see shades of gray, may go overboard and question everything (rampant relativism)
  • Cognitive self-regulation – not just behavioral, includes memory strategies (mnemonics), rehearsal
temporary problems
Temporary Problems
  • Premature judgment – more likely, cognitive shortcuts
  • Fragmented knowledge – understand pieces, but not the whole, trouble pulling info from other areas and applying it
  • Rampant relativism – question everything, even basics
  • Pseudostupidity – miss obvious answer
gender differences
Gender Differences
  • Socialized vs. biologically determined
    • Verbal/math ability
    • Achievement, intelligence tests
    • Gaps closing in many areas
  • Spatial ability – differences appear by age 10, stabilize
    • Higher androgen levels, higher spatial
    • Girls mature earlier, spatial dev curtailed?
    • Social – differential rewards
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