Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Developing brain is source of stability and instabilty in adolescence

Date:
October 15, 2012
Source:
Society for Neuroscience (SfN)
Summary:
Scientists are presenting new research on how the brain develops during the dynamic and vulnerable transition period from childhood to adulthood. The findings underscore the uniqueness of adolescence, revealing factors that may influence depression, decision-making, learning, and social relationships.

Scientists are presenting new research on how the brain develops during the dynamic and vulnerable transition period from childhood to adulthood. The findings underscore the uniqueness of adolescence, revealing factors that may influence depression, decision-making, learning, and social relationships.

The findings were presented at Neuroscience 2012, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience and the world's largest source of emerging news about brain science and health.

The brain's "reward system," those brain circuits and structures that mediate the experience and pursuit of pleasure, figured prominently in several studies. The studies shed light on adolescents' ability to control impulsivity and think through problems; reveal physical changes in the "social brain;" document connections between early home life and brain function in adolescence; and examine the impact of diet on depressive-like behavior in rodents.

Today's new findings show that:

  • Adolescents can throw impulsivity out the window when big rewards are at stake. The bigger the reward, the more thoughtful they can be, calling on important brain regions to gather and weigh evidence, and make decisions that maximize gains (BJ Casey, PhD, abstract 128.04).
  • Rodents that receive an omega-3 fatty acid in their diets, from gestation through their early development, appear less vulnerable to depressive-like behaviors during adolescence (Christopher Butt, PhD, abstract 522.07).
  • Depression in older adolescent boys may be associated with changes in communication between regions of the brain that process reward. At the same time, the study found possible connections between early emotional attachments -- particularly with mothers -- and later reward system function (Erika Forbes, PhD, abstract 128.11).
  • Early cognitive stimulation appears to predict the thickness of parts of the human cortex in adolescence, and experiences at age four appear to have a greater impact than those at age eight (Martha Farah, PhD, abstract 908.02).
  • During the span of adolescence, the volume of the "social brain" -- those areas that deal with understanding other people -- changes substantially, with notable gender differences (Kathryn Mills, BA, abstract 128.02).

"Advances in neuroscience continue to delve deeper and deeper into the unique and dynamically changing biology of the adolescent brain," said press conference moderator Jay Giedd, MD, of the National Institute of Mental Health, an expert on childhood and adolescent brain development. "The insights are beginning to elucidate the mechanisms that make the teen years a time of particular vulnerabilities but also a time of great opportunity."

This research was supported by national funding agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, as well as private and philanthropic organizations.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for Neuroscience (SfN). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Society for Neuroscience (SfN). "Developing brain is source of stability and instabilty in adolescence." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121015085020.htm>.
Society for Neuroscience (SfN). (2012, October 15). Developing brain is source of stability and instabilty in adolescence. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121015085020.htm
Society for Neuroscience (SfN). "Developing brain is source of stability and instabilty in adolescence." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121015085020.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins