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.
Let me put it another way: it’s a lot like the Hunger Games. Continue reading Can Neuroscience Explain the Popularity of The Hunger Games?