The Amazing Teen Brain

Session Date: 
Dec 2, 2016
Session Order: 

Across cultures and millennia the teen years have been noted as a time of dramatic changes in body and behavior.  Male/female body differences become more pronounced, social and sexual drives are intensified, there are great leaps in cognitive abilities, and the ability to function independently ensues.  It is also the peak time for onset of mental illness. More recently advances in imaging technologies, such as MRI, have demonstrated that the changes in body and behavior are accompanied by changes in the brain.  White matter increases allowing faster and more efficient communication among disparate components of the brain.  Gray matter changes reflect increasing specialization as the brain adapts to specific demands of the environment. Changes in connectivity and neurotransmitter receptors underlie behavioral changes in decision making. The ongoing changeability of brain biology during the teen years make adolescence a time of vulnerability but also a time of great opportunity.

File 2016_12_02_05_Giedd-Web.mp491.22 MB