Neuroscientists Make Huge Strides Toward Solving the Mysteries of the Teenage Brain
Neuroscientists fascinated by the teenage psyche have come together to publish a series of studies on what makes juveniles tick. Their findings reveal why teenage boys in particular act in such a risk-averse manner.
While many parents have simply given up on trying to understand their teenagers, neuroscientists aren't ready to throw in the towel quite yet.
Adolescents have long fascinated neuroscience researchers. Their enigmatic brains and behavior often leave lasting impressions -- and not always good impressions -- on friends, family, and society. Teenage boys in particular are prone to risky and destructive behavior that must be fully understood before attempts are made to control or harness it. We profiled a study on the subject just a few months ago.
"The result is a series of 19 studies that approached the question from multiple scientific domains, including psychology, neurochemistry, brain imaging, clinical neuroscience and neurobiology. The studies are published in a special volume of Developmental Neuroscience, 'Teenage Brains: Think Different?'"
Examples of studies within the volume include "Teens Impulsively React rather than Retreat from Threat" and "The Developmental Mismatch in Structural Brain Maturation during Adolescence," both of which can be read for free. The studies are categorized under three headings: Adolescent Brain Development, Drug Abuse in Adolescence, and Prenatal Drug Exposure.
Some of the findings are incredibly interesting. One study determined that teenage boys are almost entirely unphased by the threat of punishment and that using it as a deterrent is largely futile. Another found that a molecule necessary for producing fear in adult males exists in a much more inactive state in juveniles.
Dr. Bhide explained to Science Daily what he hoped society could gain from "Teenage Brains: Think Different?":
"These studies attempt to isolate, examine and understand some of these potential causes of a teenager's complex conundrum. The research sheds light on how we may be able to better interact with teenagers at home or outside the home, how to design educational strategies and how best to treat or modify a teenager's maladaptive behavior."
Keep reading at Science Daily
Here's the Table of Contents for "Teenage Brains: Think Different?"
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- The fine structure constant has mystified scientists since the 1800s.
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- Relativity, electromagnetism and quantum mechanics are unified by the number.
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A 2020 study published in the journal of Psychological Science explores the idea that fake news can actually help you remember real facts better.
- In 2019, researchers at Stanford Engineering analyzed the spread of fake news as if it were a strain of Ebola. They adapted a model for understanding diseases that can infect a person more than once to better understand how fake news spreads and gains traction.
- A new study published in 2020 explores the idea that fake news can actually help you remember real facts better.
- "These findings demonstrate one situation in which misinformation reminders can diminish the negative effects of fake-news exposure in the short term," researchers on the project explained.
Previous studies on misinformation have already paved the way to a better understanding<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDU1NzQ4NC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxNjE2Mjg1Nn0.hs_xHktN1KXUDVoWpHIVBI2sMJy6aRK6tvBVFkqmYjk/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C800%2C0%2C823&height=700" id="fc135" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="246bb1920c0f40ccb15e123914de1ab1" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="fake news concept of misinformation and fake news in the media" />
How does misinformation spread?
Credit: Visual Generation on Shutterstock<p><strong>What is the "continued-influence" effect?</strong></p><p>A challenge in using corrections effectively is that repeating the misinformation can have negative consequences. Research on this effect (referred to as "continued-influence") has shown that information presented as factual that is later deemed false can still contaminate memory and reasoning. The persistence of the continued-influence effect has led researchers to generally recommend avoiding repeating misinformation. </p><p>"Repetition increases familiarity and believability of misinformation," <a href="https://engineering.stanford.edu/magazine/article/how-fake-news-spreads-real-virus" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">the study explains</a>.</p><p><strong>What is the "familiarity-backfire" effect?</strong></p><p>Studies of this effect have shown that increasing misinformation familiarity through extra exposure to it leads to misattributions of fluency when the context of said information cannot be recalled. <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0956797620952797#" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">A 2017 study</a> examined this effect in myth correction. Subjects rated beliefs in facts and myths of unclear veracity. Then, the facts were affirmed and myths corrected and subjects again made belief ratings. The results suggested a role for familiarity but the myth beliefs remained below pre-manipulation levels. </p>