Teenage Brain Essay

            In the article entitled “What makes teens tick” written by Claudia Wallis, it is shown how the brain of the teenagers are studied. In the discussions made with regard to it, the several regions and the distinctiveness of the brain activities of the teens are likewise presented to achieve a clear picture in relation to the behavior and other aspects of teens.

            One of the important parts of the brain which is affected during adolescent development is the limbic system, which is considered as the core of emotions (Wallis, 2008). The sex hormones are seen to be at heightened levels of activity in the brain of the teenager and tend to attach to receptors that affect the serotonin and other neurochemicals involved in excitability and mood (Wallis, 2008). In a fully developed human brain, the limbic system, it serves the purposes of “processing of social information, autobiographical consciousness, the evaluation of meaning, the activation of arousal, and the coordination of bodily response and higher cognitive processing” (Siegel, 2001, p. 131).

            There are three behavioral/cognitive difficulties that teenagers may face as a result of the continuous process of brain development. First, there are difficulties associated with judgment such as that of identifying facial expressions and assessment of risks. This is due to the reliance on the amygdale which functions in relation to “emotional and gut reactions” (Wallis, 2008, p. 6).  Second, it is also hard for teenagers to use motivation in order to work towards incentives because of the immature nucleus accumbens (Wallis, 2008). Third, the teenagers also face problems in waking up at a usual schedule because of the longer time associated with rising melatonin levels for this group (Wallis, 2008).

            From the article, an understanding of the teenagers is made easier as there are scientific explanations for their cognitive and behavioral aspects. It relies not only on social stigmas and controls but also on considerations of the brain and its functions.

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Siegel, D. (2001). The developing mind: How relationships and the brain interact to shape who we are. NY: The Guilford Press.

Wallis, C. (2008). What makes teens tick. Retrieved November 18, 2008, from http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,994126-7,00.html.