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Monday, September 11, 2006

Parents Are Hailing This Explanation 

From Yahoo:

It's not just hormones that kick in during adolescence, the brain also undergoes massive development which might help to explain teenage behavior, a British scientist said on Thursday.

Until recently it was assumed that the brain stopped developing before puberty, but new research shows there are changes in areas of the brain linked to decision-making, planning and social awareness in adolescence....

[Dr Sarah] Blakemore and her team did functional MRI scans of the brains of adolescents and young adults who were told to think about their own intentions, such as wanting to go to the cinema and what they needed to do....

She found that a network of brain areas are used. The prefrontal cortex activity involved in the task increased with age while use in a region in the back of the brain declined. Adults used the prefrontal cortex more than adolescents.

In a second study that analyzed the development of perspective, she asked 150 adolescents to make decisions about how they would feel and how other people would feel in certain situations.

"We found that that decision-making process became quicker with age. It suggests that the ability to take someone else's perspective is refined with age. It becomes more efficient," she explained.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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