Bethany,18 “Knows” Everything Matt, 16, can’t remember anything
Brainy Facts: What do we know about the brain? • Adult = 3 pounds • 2% of our body weight but consumes 20% of our calories • 70% water, it consumes 30% of the water we drink • Unfolded it would measure 2 ft x 2 ft. • composed of a trillion cells, 100 billion neurons
Neuroscientist at the National Institute of Health, Chief of brain imaging in the child psychiatry branch Used MRI to scan the brains of nearly 1000 healthy children ages 3-18. Between ages of birth-2 and 9-10= tremendous growth of neurons Ages 2-3 and 11+= massive pruning Teenagers are more like toddlers than adults in brain growth Dr. Jay Giedd, Neuroscientist
Used connections will flourish, unused will be pruned and die. During adolescence…use it or lose it • Fewer but faster connections
The CEO of the Brain • The frontal lobes: executive decisions and moral/ethical control • Development continues from back to front through early 20’s • “It’s sort of unfair to expect teens to have adult levels of organizational skills or decision-making before their brains are finished being built.”- Dr. Giedd
Problem solving Judgment Inhibition of behavior Planning Self-monitoring Personality Emotions Organization Attention Concentration Mental flexibility Speaking Awareness of abilities Self-control “do the right thing” Frontal Lobe
Teens relied on the amygdala, associated with emotion and gut reactions MRI tests: Teens see anger when it was not intended Teens can be irrational and overly emotional Don’t believe everything they tell you…..
What about Intelligence? • Intelligence and emotional maturity do not develop in the same way. • Let’s look at a teenage genius…
Drugs and alcohol can alter normal development of the brain Teens who drink are exposing their brains to the toxic effects of alcohol at a critical time of brain development, approx. 10% memory loss Hormonal rush of testosterone and estrogen causing chemical changes During adolescence… period of high risk Image from Susan Tapert, PhD, University of California, San Diego. http://www.sfn.org/skins/main/images/brainbriefings/bb_Oct2002_large.gif
What about adolescence and ADD/ADHD? • Impulsive ADHD kids will often get into trouble • The inattentive ADD kids tend to be non-compliant, have trouble remember the things, will feel “stupid” despite a above average or high intelligence • “ In clinical studies, researchers confirmed that teens with ADHD were twice as likely to have abused alcohol within the past 6 months. They also found that teens with ADHD were likely to abuse drugs and three times more likely to abuse drugs other than marijuana.” WebMD.com • ADHD teenagers are 400% more likely to have an automobile accident
They need 9 ¼ hrs… They get…6-7….! The biological clock shifts in the teen years by up to 2 hours Sleep deprivation can have a major negative effect on learning and memory! TV’s, computer monitors, and cell phones can keep adolescents from getting enough deep sleep; remove them from their rooms! Catching ZZZZZZs
How does it help the TEEN to know this? • Understand themselves and their behavior • Allow adults around them to guide them • What they do in the next 8 years makes a difference for the rest of their lives!