Monday, April 20, 2015

The Teen Brain: A Hazard or a Virtue?

Aristotle concluded more than 2,300 years ago that "the young are heated by Nature as drunken men by wine."  Yet a fascinating feature in National Geographic by science writer David Dobbs shows that, viewed through the eyes of evolution, the young's most exasperating traits may be the key to success as adults.

We learn that youths take risks that terrify their parents because - as scientists have discovered through modern brain-scanning technology - the teen brain isn’t fully cooked — it’s still in the process of rewiring and remodeling itself and maturing toward adulthood. Our brains have networks of neurons that weigh the costs and benefits of potential actions, but teens weigh those consequences in peculiar ways.

The first full series of scans of the developing adolescent brain in a National Institutes of Health (NIH) project showed that our brains undergo a massive reorganization between our 12th and 25th years. Physical brain growth is negligible during this period as it has already attained 90 percent of its full size by the time a person is 6 years old. During the process of maturation, physical changes move in a slow wave from the brain's rear to its front, from areas that look after behaviorally basic functions, such as vision, movement, and fundamental processing, to the evolutionarily newer and more complicated thinking areas up front.

The long, slow, back to front developmental wave, completed only in the mid 20s, appears to be a uniquely human adaptation. This delayed completion of the fore brain's myelination — the myelin coating that greatly accelerates a brain's bandwidth, also inhibits the growth of new branches from the axon (the long nerve fibers that neurons use to send signals to other neurons) - is a withholding of readiness that heightens flexibility just as we confront and enter the complicated world of adulthood. Here's the kicker: if we smartened up sooner, we'd end up dumber.

B. J. Casey, a neuroscientist at Weill Cornell Medical College, puts it this way, "We're so used to seeing adolescence as a problem. But the more we learn about what really makes this period unique, the more adolescence starts to seem like a highly functional, even adaptive period. It's exactly what you'd need to do the things you have to do then."

The long National Geographic article may explain why some youngster posted a hilarious video while others were bawling their eyes out, but it still does not explain why an adult would want to snip off bits of anatomy.


  1. What we have here is nothing other than just plain mob lynching, fear and censorship instilled into her citizens.

    1) Here is a bright 16yo boy who just finished high school. He was bored and disinterested in the regimented system that hampers his learning style.

    2) Clearly not thoroughly educated in a vast subject like Christianity - does not claim to be expert or seen as one.

    3) He put out a video PUBLICLY, mind you -- not anonymously. Could we even see those hidden faces of the Cookie and the rest of monsters who pitchforked a boy behind any devious banners?

    4) He went on his rhetoric, using his own formed opinions & frame of mind to share with you his exaggerated but hilarious views (however naive or disagreeable you think). As opposed to deploying weapons, bombs, AK47 or dangerous weapons that cause physical harm or beheading, is there?

    5) 22 well adjusted (or mal-adjusted?) people are suddenly emotionally offended, threatened and disturbed by a child's "strong words of persuasion"?!

    6) They then try to scare the bejesus out of everyone by inciting the incision of his genital or wishing he gets "buttfucked" in the jail. So these super late-comers of social media are still stuck in their own early medieval era of the Cowboys, Sheriffs & Wild West. Either that or our jail actually condone rapes within inmates that the public should perhaps know about!

    7) Apparently, this group simply don't GET free speech because they only GET censored speech. They are just babies who can't stand to live in the world to hear things that upsets them. What follows is "Off with their penis and freedom of communications". Much like denying holocaust is a crime, denying Yewism is also soon a crime here.

    Once again, we are allowing a creeping culture of censoriousness to be taken too far. That we're accepting the criminalisation of speech that offends, insults or disparages is outrageous, what more, from a 16yo kid. Saying that it is the job of the police to protect people from danger that may harm them is fair, but not from comments and opinions they may disagree with!

    Why did SPF and AG run with it is beyond understanding.

    1. " Much like denying holocaust is a crime, denying Yewism is also soon a crime here." - Its a real and present dangerous thought.

    2. Well said, anon.

      Unfortunately, this is Singapore, where one can become the subject of investigations for daring to explore beyond official explanations, like in the case of the Chinese bus drivers' strike. Free speech is just a pipe dream here.

      One other thing: there is no need to have been educated in Christianity to realize that it's nonsense.

    3. If those 22 persons including one ex-policeman are somehow associated with a certain political party or a certain religious sect, what does this tell us ?

      Either they are trying to curry favour with the powers that be or that they couldn't really give a damn to that young kid's future ?

      As a matter of fact, how can any political or religious man be so wicked and evil in their intentions finish off a 16-year teen for good ?

      Remember there was one certain man who promised us in no uncertain terms that he wants our Govt to be an inclusive and open society. So could he have deliberately lied to us when now he couldn't even include the somehow misguided opinions of a young teenager?

  2. Why would an adult want to snip off that bit of Amos's anatomy? As the article suggests, that adult's brain developed from front to back and stopped developing at 6years old.

  3. The mysterious workings of the adolescent brain.

    1. 13:49 - So what's sometimes seen as the problem with adolescents — heightened risk-taking, poor impulse control, self-consciousness — shouldn't be stigmatized. It actually reflects changes in the brain that provide an excellent opportunity for education and social development.

  4. This stupidity by the lynching mob is going to cause the whities to lose more votes.

  5. Dont blame the Mob.
    They do not dispense Justice.
    Nor do they necessarily
    have the right understanding
    of Justice since they are
    highly emotional.
    Which morally upright folk
    will want to snip off the Penis
    of a teen and worse, to stuff
    it into his mouth?

    Will any religious christian wants
    to buttfuck anyone?

    Have faith in our magistrates, I
    dare say that they(magistrates)
    not only know Judtice better.
    They certainly know emotions have
    made the Complainants lost much
    of their sense of balance and proportion.
    It is obviously so; is it not?


  6. Not too sure if the teen brain is a hazard or virtue, but one thing is for sure - the occipital lobe in Cookie's cerebral cortex has been infarcted by too much PAP smoke and gas, causing disorientation and acute loss of visual perception and ratiocination ….. LOL.

    1. A little bombastic. Are you trying to say that Cookie's a cock with a smoked brain cooked with PAP gas?

    2. Actually Cookie's a PIG with a smoked brain cooked with PAP gas?