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Teen Brain Development
From the newly published results of a TDSB student census of middle school and high school students, to recent articles in New York Magazine and Slate detailing the lasting impact of high school experiences, it seems like we are hearing about the challenges of adolescence across all forms of media. For that reason, it seemed like a good time to provide some additional information about teenage brain development – in video form – that both parents and teens can enjoy together.
Surviving the Teenage Brain (2012)
In late 2012, CBC’s The Nature of Things presented a thoughtful documentary about adolescent brain development called Surviving the Teenage Brain. With insight from evolutionary biology, neuroscience, psychiatry, and biological anthropology, this documentary is a fascinating explanation of our current understanding of the adaptive nature of the teenage brain: adolescence is the critical phase in which we optimize our brain development for adulthood, through our experiences, our behaviours, our relationships, and the subsequent feedback we receive from our environment. A compelling segment of the video (around the 28 minute mark) examines teenage love as a profound addiction and the resulting seriousness of heartbreak and rejection. It’s definitely worth a watch!
The trailer is attached below, but the whole episode (45:00) is available online at http://www.cbc.ca/natureofthings/episodes/surviving-the-teenage-brain.
Insight Into the Teenage Brain: Adriana Galván at TEDxYouth@Caltech (January 2013)
Dr. Adriana Galván, an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology and Brain Research Institute at the University of California, and Director and Principal Investigator of the Developmental Neuroscience Laboratory, discusses the strong excitability of the teenage brain to novelty and rewards at a recent TEDxYouth Conference.
Teen Brain by Ze Frank (July 2012)
This video is an entertaining presentation about the trials and tribulations of adolescence with insight into teen brain development, targeting teens themselves. Rainn Wilson, from The Office, helps out.