We’ve learned more about the human brain in the last ten years than the previous ten thousand. Adolescence in particular is a time of dramatic change.
I’m currently pursing a master’s in social science and as I have two daughters on either side of the teenage spectrum (10 and 19), I decided to enroll in a course on Adolescent Brain Development.
I’ve learned that from age 10 to 25, approximately, the human brain goes through significant structural transitions as it is both built up through the maturation of various areas of the cortex and the myelination (coating) of neurons, and thinned out through synaptic pruning, a kind of knowledge specialization.
The teenage brain advances in a back-to-front pattern. The prefrontal cortex, the region responsible for executive functions such as impulse control, emotional response, decision making, planning and judgement, is not considered fully matured until the mid-twenties.
What do you think? Our first extended look inside the movie…seeing Katniss salute the TV viewers gave me goosebumps. But Woody Harrelson’s floppy hair made me yell at my screen. That’s not my Haymitch. He needs to be straggly and grizzled, absolutely, but that hair is just silly.
Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket: spot on. And Stanley Tucci’s Caesar Flickerman: not at all the picture in my head (I saw him as more of a Liberace figure), but I LOVE this glimpse of the character. Awesome. It’s Tucci’s powerhouse charisma, just perfect.
If your teen is anything like mine, she’s been counting the days until the release of the Hunger Games movie next March. Heck, if you’re anything like me, you’ve been counting! We got our first peek at the film in a short trailer that aired at MTV’s Video Music Awards on Sunday night.
What did you think? It’s a brief tease, all right…there’s a hunted, haunted-looking Katniss running through the woods, dodging flaming tree limbs. We hear Gale on the voiceover: “They just want a good show, that’s all they want. You know how to hunt. Show ’em how good you are.” I love the wicked hiss of Katniss’s arrow as she releases her bowstring in the trailer’s final seconds. The trailer conveys her isolation and fear, but I found something jarring in Gale’s instructions; I’d have liked to hear Katniss’s voice. She’s the one telling the story, after all.
No glimpses, yet, of Katniss’s competition in the Games, nor of the spectacle outside the Arena. We’ll be living in suspense, these next few months…
I can’t remember ever taking more than a passing interest in the details surrounding a book’s adaptation to film. Until now, that is. I eat up ever morsel that gets dropped as The Hunger Games makes its way to the big screen. I man Twitter and Facebook feeds to get the latest casting news as soon as possible.
I also can’t remember the last time that I bought a magazine at a newsstand, but I’ll be lining up today to buy the new Entertainment Weekly. Look at this cover! The issue promises an exclusive interview with Jennifer Lawrence as well as more pictures of her as Katniss.
On a side note, much as I like Woody Harrelson and Stanley Tucci, I think they are miscast as Haymitch and Caesar Flickerman. I could almost buy Stanley Tucci as a President Snow. And as for Haymitch, well, that rumor of Robert Downey, Jr. just feels mean now. I really had my heart set on it. Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket rules, though.