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Unformatted text preview: Ed Psych 9/21/10 Why are brains gaining attention?- Adolescence is a time when great change in brains occur o Physical structure then effects functioning o The amount of change occurring is similar to that of infancy (a lot)- Need information about the normal development of adolescent brains o In terms of physical, neurochemical changes and brain functioning o This will allow us to determine abnormal functioning in the brain- Safe methods for measuring functioning brains (these methods tell us more) o Used to use EEGs (could see brain waves activity) o Now: PET scans, FMRI (nice images, specific activities in brain) 3 Major Changes- Reorganization of the Prefrontal Cortex o Physical changes in the brain (getting larger during adolescence) o The prefrontal cortex is the part of the brain that is active when engaged in complicated cognitive activities such as.. Planning/ Resisting impulses Decision making (hold many things in mind @ same time) Setting goals Metacognition (persons knowledge about how much/what they know) o Gray matter (neurons in brain) increases during pre-adolescence Max size at 12.1 years for males and 11.0 years for females o Decline in gray matter occurs post-adolescence o Likely due to overproduction of synapses followed by synaptic pruning Whatever isnt used, starts getting pruned (withers away) o Full maturation occurs between adolescence and adulthood- Changes in synaptic connections o Myelination: The process through which neuronal projections that connect to form brain circuits become encased with myelin Myelin: allows messages between brain cells to travel faster Increases the efficiency and speed of the brains signals Stronger, faster connections form through myelination...
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- Fall '10