Research by Jay Geidd and his colleagues have shown that the teen brain undergoes a number of changes. Four particular parts have been mentioned as those that undergo distinct changes. In addition, it is noteworthy that the activities controlled by these parts have been observed to change as the parts mature. Geidd and his colleagues have confirmed the following as the parts that undergo change; the prefrontal cortex, the gray matter, the cerebellum and the corpus callosum. Incidentally, it has been noted that these parts show changes just at the beginning of puberty.
The prefrontal cortex has been observed to grow again just as puberty sets in. This part is the main operating part of the brain earning the nick name chief executive officer. It is charged with the brain functions of control planning, working memory, organization and modulation of the mood of the person. Incidentally, as the prefrontal cortex grows the teen’s maturity in respect to the mentioned functions improves.
In the same vein, the teen losses some of the gray matter as growth continues. The loss of the gray matter is associated with the pruning stage. This stage is a critical growth stage for the pruning is associated with the ability to connect by use of the synapses. Apparently, Geidd and his colleagues were surprised by the loss of the gray matter.
Similarly, corpus collasi equally undergoes growth. This part of the brain is the fibre system that relays information between the hemisphere of brain. This part is associated language learning and associated thinking. Indeed, the fact of the growth of the corpus collasi confirms the observation in the learning ability of the child which diminishes at the age of twelve. This corresponds with the age at which the child’s corpus collasi stops to grow. In addition, the corpus collasi have a similar appearance for twin children. This fact ought to be analyzed in the context of the nurture versus nature debate. It has been argued that the similarity in the corpus collasi could mean some factors are a consequence of nature and not nurture.
The most pronounced changes are noticed in the cerebellum. The cerebellum is the part responsible for processing. In fact, it has been nick named the brain co-processor. Apparently, the changes equally occur at the onset of puberty. The cerebellum has been associated with the rethinking ability by the brain. Its growth has been used to explain the tendency of the teen to take higher risks as their cerebellums is yet to fully grow. Of course, the assumption is that growth corresponds with the ability to function properly. Hence for the teen, the parts of the brain that grow are work in progress and their functionality equally not as mature as is of their adult counterparts.
Several lessons can be learnt from the research on the teen’s brain in terms of parenting. It should be appreciated that the teens are not fully grown not only physically but mentally. As a parent, one must be cognizant of the decisions and tasks he leaves to the discretion of the teen. For the tasks that are performed by the parts of the brain still growing, it would be important for responsible parents to help the teen. These tasks include risk taking decisions, logical reasoning, control planning and associative thinking. It is essential to appreciate the precarious position the teen is placed and the fact that the immaturity may occasion a wrong decision or path being pursued. In addition, parents must give the teen the opportunity to learn. Some activities such as learning new languages should be undertaken before the age of twelve which has been reported as the point in which the brain’s ability to learn new languages diminishes. However, in overall not much premium should be placed on the research since the growth of the brain has not conclusively been proved to affect the functionality. This assumption must, therefore, be treated with sufficient reservation.
I find the video relevant to my personal experiences with teens. Foremost, I must observe the general tendency in teens to act in a hyper manner. This mannerism generally leads them to taking risks. This explains why the teens would want to pursue a risky path. A particular experience I had involved the use of a knife. I noticed the teen liked playing around with the knife attempting to pierce anything and everything he interacted with. Part of this was influenced by the movies the teen had watched where the main star used weapons to defeat his enemies. However, part of this behavior was probably influenced by the fact that the brain parts that influenced logical reasoning and second thinking were yet to fully mature. I believe it is this reason that extinguishes the younger teens from criminal liability for some crimes committed. The assumption often made is that the brain has not fully developed for the teen to have had a mental intention to commit the offence involved.
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Spinks , S. (2000, March 4). Adolescent Brains are Work in Progress. Retrieved September 27, 2013, from Frontline: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/teenbrain/work/adolescent.html