The Teen Brain
Regardless of whether you are presently a teenager; are able to remember being one, or are a parent of one, you might agree that the experience is/was much “….like nailing Jell-o to a tree.” From any perspective, adolescence often manifests itself as a period of confusion; a challenge cloaked in mystery and frustration while attempting to comprehend its modus operandi. Poet and professor, John Anthony Ciardi stated that, “You don’t have to suffer to be a poet; adolescence is enough suffering for anyone.”
This pursuit to comprehend the apparent ambiguities manifested during the teen years remains as active today as it did for Aristotle. He observed that, “The young are permanently in a state resembling intoxication.” However, there appears to be a breakthrough on the horizon compliments of advances in the technology of brain imaging. Currently, there are research studies devoted specifically to seeking solutions to solving this ancient bewilderment in relation to adolescent thinking.
In her article, “This is your brain on adolescence…..” Rachel Tompa, provides a glimpse into some of the initial findings of this new area of research.
“Every parent of a teenager is familiar with the special behavior that puberty seems to induce – mood swings, slammed doors, rash decisions. Parents often blame such erratic temperament on surging adolescent hormones, but it turns out that the brain has something to do with it, too. Specifically, a teen’s prefrontal cortex – the piece of brain right behind the forehead that is involved in complex decision making – is not capable of the kind of reasoning that allows most grown-ups to make rational decisions.” 1
One of our long range goals for Cole’s Memorial Fund is to encourage research and education in understanding what makes the teen brain tick? Without question, it is an issue that has consequences for us all.
— A. M. Ballay
1 This is your brain on adolescence MRI studies of teenage brain show why kids act before they think, By Rachel Tompa, Media Relations | 16 October 2008
COLE T. BALLAY “CARPE DIEM!” FOUNDATION
“On behalf of Cole’s family & friends, GRAZIE for your interest and support!”