In adolescence, a person is capable ofcrazy things. But why? What is so special about the body of young people that they run away from home, make quarrels, try drugs, invent a new art form, have fun tirelessly and seem to be completely afraid of nothing? Scientists are convinced that the main reason for this behavior lies directly in the brain of adolescents, namely in the frontal cortex. The study published in the journal Brain Imaging and Behavior, according to which the brain of teenagers suffering from mental illness, is radically different from the brain of their healthy peers, adds fuel to the fire of the difficult behavior of young people.
The prefrontal cortex - namelythe frontal lobe cortex is the general director of the human brain. Directly due to her work, we behave decently in society and do not beat dishes during a dinner party. This area of the brain is involved in regulating emotions, controlling behavior, delaying pleasure, predicting long-term actions and assessing their riskiness. Since the structure of the frontal cortex occurred later than other areas of the human brain, it appeared in all its splendor. Neural connections in the frontal cortex of a person are much more complex and larger than in humanoid monkeys. Moreover, in the person it is the frontal cortex that completes its formation much later than the rest of the brain.
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As the results of numerousstudies, the frontal cortex fully matures by 25 years. An interesting proof that the frontal cortex in adolescents is not fully developed is the fact that young people understand irony worse. One of the reasons for this strange thing is that adults have an increased activity in the area of face recognition. In other words, an adult only needs to cast a glance at the face of the interlocutor to recognize irony, since the frontal cortex is sufficiently developed for this. Moreover, as the frontal cortex develops, adolescent behavior, including emotional behavior, changes. So, older teens are experiencing much sharper and more susceptible to the manifestation of emotions on the faces of other people. Plus, young people really underestimate the risk appetite.
Mental illness and the brain of adolescents
We found out that the brain of a healthy teenager- An incredibly complex structure that is continuously formed and developed. But if healthy adolescents experience a decent amount of difficulty with growing up, what happens in the brains of young people who are faced with various mental illnesses? The answer to this question decided to find out a team of neuroscientists from the University of Alberta. In the course of the study, the subjects were teenagers from 14 to 17 years of age who had a history of mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Researchers Using MRI Scanrevealed differences in the connecting nerve pathways in adolescents with mental illness. Such adolescents received lower grades in performance tests, had difficulty concentrating, and ignored distractions. Thus, given the natural complexity of the adolescent period, it is necessary to be more attentive to young people whose psyche is vulnerable to various mental illnesses.
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As reported in a press release published onUniversity of Alberta website, the work is part of more extensive research and collaboration with scientists from around the world. Also, the obtained results supplement the data of previously conducted similar studies of the brain of adults.