The+Adolescent+Brain- - Dr.LeilaniBrown THEADOLESCENTBRAIN:...

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THE ADOLESCENT BRAIN:  A WORK IN PROGRESS Dr. Leilani Brown
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THE DYNAMIC TEEN BRAIN New imaging studies are revealing  patterns of brain development that extend  into the teenage years.  A longitudinal study of 145 children  conducted in l999 revealed a second wave  of overproduction of gray matter, the  thinking part of the brain—neurons and  their branch-like extensions—just prior to  puberty.
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REMODELING THE BRAIN During adolescence, as in infancy, the brain  undergoes synaptic pruning as a result of  experiences. The adolescent brain is very adaptable and  plastic, just as in infancy. Many of the changes that take place in  adolescence are unique and not simply trailing  remnants of childhood plasticity. Frontal lobe activity increases during  adolescence and represents an increased reliance  on the frontal lobes for behavior.
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FUNCTIONAL MAGNETIC RESONANCE  IMAGING (FMRI) With functional MRIs, researchers can see how  normal and healthy brains actually function. This technology allows researchers to see which  parts of the brain use energy when performing  certain tasks.   In the past, research has been conducted on  damaged brains.
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UNIQUE PROCESSING ABILITIES Using functional MRI (fMRI), a team led  by Dr. Deborah Yurgelun-Todd at  Harvard's McLean Hospital scanned  subjects' brain activity while they  identified emotions on pictures of faces  displayed on a computer screen.  Young teens, who characteristically  perform poorly on the task, activated the  amygdala, a brain center that mediates  fear and other "gut" reactions, more than  the frontal lobe. Look at the optical illusion in the next  slide for 30 to 45 seconds. 
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AN OPTICAL ILLUSION
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WHAT DID YOU SEE?
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The+Adolescent+Brain- - Dr.LeilaniBrown THEADOLESCENTBRAIN:...

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