Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Teenage brain research

Brains change a lot during the teenage years, particularly in areas linked to complex thought, according to findings published this year. Researchers scanned the brains of 300 teenagers and young adults, identifying the regions that experience the most change. While the areas associated with the basic functioning of the body such as vision, hearing and movement are fully developed by adolescence, the areas associated with complex thought and decision making are still changing. The new findings also indicate that maltreatment, abuse and neglect may well continue to disrupt the development of the higher brain functions during the crucial teenage years and so contribute to the emergence of mental illness.
Whitaker, K. et al. (2016). Adolescence is associated with genomically patterned consolidation of the hubs of the human brain connectome. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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