Frances Jensen

Neurologist and mother

"The adolescents are machines of learning".

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The teenage behaviors, that many times us seem irrational or testaduras, can have your origin in problems related to the brain development, specifically of the frontal lobe and the areas that use the centers of risk-reward. Thus, before judge to our children, owe remember that your brain sometimes not is able to arrive to certain types of conclusions and that maybe is our paper help them to arrive to certain reasonings. As mother, know that sometimes is difficult keep the calm during an explosion emotional, but if us stop to think, almost all happens for some reason biological. Is interesting remember that your brains are bouncier since have more cells and more connections. At the same time, your frontal lobe has more difficulties when manage certain emotions. In that sense, there are several studies made with scans IRM functional that us point out that the adolescents answer the lookalike before a stimulus emotional.

For all of this, is important that keep a good relationship with our children since experience very high levels of estrésy go to need our support, even in your first years as adults. Us corresponds to we carry out an exercise of control and stop us to think before issue a trial.

With respect to if is differences among boys and girls, seems that the boys, in general, are about two years for behind the girls in what adverts to complete your development brain, especially with respect to the pruning of the sinapsis and the mielinización that is isolating these connections. Nevertheless, each case is different since is girls late and many boys precocious.

"The adolescents are machines of learning".

Then, the adolescents are more vulnerable to the stress? The response is yes, mostly for your great response unconscious to stimuli emotional. Moreover, high standards of stress, that in an adult be able to be storms, last more in a teenager and, even, can derive in disorders for post traumatic stress or depression years later. In that sense, enters game the so-called plasticity sináptica, that is how create and mold the sinapsis and connections according to the experiences. For example, if a boy studies music develop a greater number of connections related to theard musical. In the other side of the scale, can appear behaviors undesired as the predisposition to suffer addictions. And is that the addiction is another way of learning that creates sinapsis more strong in the circuit of the rewards in the adolescents that in the adults. Provided that talk with adolescents attempt give them an advice: “Take care your brain now and he take care of you later”.

Is important insist in this point since your brain is more vulnerable and the drugs them affect in great measure. For example, know that the alcohol consumption for the last years of the adolescence affects the sinapsis of the brain and modifies your circuits. Even there are studies that prove that the people that have consumed alcohol in an usual way during your adolescence tend to risk more when are adults that anyone who not drink. Likewise, the cannabis decreases the activity of the sinapsis, preventing the plasticity sináptica. All in all, all that happens during the adolescence can in a future change permanently the structure of the brain.

On the other hand, sleep less than what is necessary also can reduce your skills of create plasticity sináptica. Owe understand the hardship of the dream as another way of stress; and more in the adolescents that live with rhythms different to ours. We, as adults, start to segregate melatonin - a hormone that us adormila - around the nine at night. The adolescents, on the other hand, the segregate from the 11 at night, so them is more complicated leave soon to bed and, therefore, them costs wake up soon since they are in a sleep cycle wrong. Is for this reason that many drag lack of dream of chronic way, fact that us can invite to ponder on if owe take into account the biology when plan the conference school child.

Before finish the interview, like send a message to the teachers and invite them to that are connected with the studies that are emerging about the teenage brain since they, as schoolteachers, are stressing the plasticity sináptica of your students. In my opinion, owe observe your health emotional, as well as stimulate them and help them to that explore to themselves. Currently, know a lot about the brain and can use all this information so that are happier in this period of your life and that this is even more productive.

Frances Jensen is one of the figures more respected in the field of the teenage brain. President of the Department of Neurology of the University from Pennsylvania, has an extensive experience as teacher of neurology in the School of Medicine from Harvard, director of neuroscience traslacional and director of investigation on epilepsy in the Hospital of children from Boston. Author of multiple works, in your work “The teenage brain. Guidance of a mother neuroscientist for educate adolescents” us discovers in a didactic way how works the mind in this intense phase of growth.