The Inner Workings Of The Teen Brain Essays

The Inner Workings Of The Teen Brain Essays

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Teenagers are incredibly fascinating to learn about, and part of what makes them so captivating, is how complex their brain is. For decades there has been a struggle to understand the inner-workings of the teen brain, and fully grasp how and why teenagers behave the way they do. Now that we have some answers, everything is actually starting to make sense, and we don’t solely have intense adolescent hormones to blame.
During Inside the Teenage Brain, Dr. Charles Nelson says “the transition into puberty is analogous to the transition to being a baby. That a child is suddenly undergoing thorough changes in their brain development at a very, very rapid pace.” These rapid changes massively affect the frontal cortex and the cerebellum. Immediately prior to puberty is when the frontal cortex undergoes a large growth spurt. (Spinks & Tiller, 2002) Changes to the frontal cortex are fundamental to adolescent development because this is the part of the brain that is largely responsible for organization and judgement. While changes here are being made quickly, this part of the brain does not fully mature until later.
In a similar manner as the frontal cortex (which matures before puberty), Dr. Jay Geidd also explains that “the cerebellum (in the back of the brain), is the part of the brain that changes most in the teen years. So this part of the brain has not finished growing until well into the 20’s even.” (Spinks & Tiller, 2002) Many aspects of the human body are controlled by the cerebellum, for instance, dexterity of muscles and bodily movement. Additionally, it helps control thought processes; Dr. Geidd gives some insight to this by saying “like one can be physically clumsy, one can be kind of mentally clumsy.” (Spinks & Tiller...


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...e of the brain that has a better opportunity to develop. (Spinks & Tiller, 2002)
I felt a personal connection while watching Inside the Teenage Brain, because it wasn’t all that long ago (10 years) that I was a moody teenager myself. All I wanted was to be alone in my room and not talk to anyone. In the video, Nikki perfectly described my own personal teenage years when she said ““one hour I can be really happy and laughing and the next hour I’m just really, really upset. Then it can be one whole day I’m fine. And then two days later I’m mad;” and “sometimes I just don’t feel like talking, period.” (Spinks & Tiller, 2002) I was raised by my grandparents, and they used to get so upset with me and my antisocial attitude. However, I think that they also didn’t understand the new technology (like internet and cell phones) that were a distraction in my world.

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