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 The Brain

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Jordan Chiarello



Number of posts : 5
Registration date : 2011-03-08

PostSubject: The Brain   Tue Mar 08, 2011 10:39 pm

In this entry, Carl Zimmer clearly states that fast driving, drugs, and unsefe sex: The risk-loving behavir of teenagers may result from a neurological gap in the development of the brain.

Study shows that this case applies to many situations. For example, scientists ran a study on a group of rats of varying ages, allowing the animals to drink as much sweetened condensed milk as they wanted. The rats had to press the lever dozens of times before they were rewarded with a single sip, and each successive sip required two more presses than the previous one. They found that pubescent rats would press the lever much more often than rats of any other age, putting in more work for the calories given their size. In other words they valued the milk more. The affects of adolescence on rats parallels the affects adolescence has on humans. Whether rodent or human, adolescene makes us add more value not only to sweet drinks, but to all sorts or rewards.

Another study shown in this write up similar to the previous one would be the study they did on humans varying in ages. It was an experiment where scientists arranged four decks in various ways. The scientists had stacked the decks. Two of the decks had more losing cards than winning ones, and the reverse was true for the other two decks. Scientists tracked the strategies of 901 volunteers ranging in age from 10 to 30 years old and compared the teenagers with the other age groups, Adolescents tended to play the winning decks more often than adults or preteens. In other words, they wewe unusually sensitive to the reward of winning money but the same as others when it came to a risk in losing it. Adolescents had a unique way in placing value on things. It is remarkable that the affects are similar in both cases between the humans and the rats. I guess we are not too far off from the animal kingdom after all...

The reading also goes into detail about teens and the affects of a neurological gap. "The trubble with teens is that they fall into a neurological gap." Until it catches up, teenagers are stuck with strong responces to rewards without much of a compensating responce to the associated risks. The reward system of the teenage brain may make adolescents more willing to face the risks that come with this advancing new stage of life. This may act as a "cussion" supressing the difficulty and advancement into adulthood and becoming more independent. The problem is that with modern dangers such as illegal drugs and fast cars, the human risks have increased. Evolution does not operate quickly enough to have reacted to such factors.

To conclude, this particular reading interested me the most mainly because it deals with the study of people in our own age group. I find it interesting to learn more about ones self and how your body/nervous system works and cooperates with eachother. The affects of adolescence is an interesting topic, one worthy of discussion!

-Jordan Chiarello
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Jordan Chiarello



Number of posts : 5
Registration date : 2011-03-08

PostSubject: Re: The Brain   Tue Mar 08, 2011 10:43 pm

This Reading can be found on page 28-29
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Rad.w



Number of posts : 37
Registration date : 2009-09-08

PostSubject: Re: The Brain   Fri Mar 11, 2011 7:58 pm

This is a really interesting article! You never really hear a scientific perspective when it comes to teenage behaviour, but instead it's always a social approach. I've never heard of the 'gap' mentioned in the article, and it will be interesting to see where this research will go. The brain is such a complex machine and I'm sure that as reasearch progresses more will be learned about it. Research with animals is always intersting because as seen in this case the results can usually be applied to human behaviour. However, I think that in this case there's alot more to it than just observing animals. Because behaviour also has to do with environment, family and friends. You can't really put an animal through the stress of school, pressure of family, etc and I think that's why teenage behaviour is usually approached from a social stand point. However, the 'winning deck' study is really interesting becuause it proves that humans did follow the same steps that the rats took in the previous experiment. I think it also has to do with the fact that as you get older you are more hesitant to take risks while at a younger age you're alot more willing to take a risk and win big. The article also mentions that teenagers have strong responses to rewards but may not look to the risks associated with it. This is a sad truth as so many teenagers die from stupid mistakes that could have been prevented. It's sad that kids as young as 13 value the thrill of doing things that may bring rewards more than they value their own life and future.
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Josh King Konu

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Number of posts : 150
Registration date : 2011-02-09

PostSubject: Re: The Brain   Sat Mar 12, 2011 3:40 am

this article is actually pretty amazing haha comparing humans to rats and if you really think about it you notice that it kind of apply s to us and the way we think you see some teens going to drugs and searching for stronger ones each time which is kind of like the sweetened milk. if i didn't know any better id say that its not really the species or animal its moreover the age groups of that population! afro
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Alicia Szczepanski



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Registration date : 2010-09-27

PostSubject: Re: The Brain   Thu Mar 17, 2011 8:04 pm

Reading this article i found the experiments very interesting. It talks about how teens take much more risks than children or adults do. I found it interesting how from an evolutionary point of view this is beneficial. In some mammal species when they become an adolescent it is time for them to leave their parents and live on their own, they have to fend for themselves and be able to protect themselves. They would have to be more willing to take risks because what is more risky than leaving your home, the place where you were protected and taken care of, to go on your own not really knowing what to do? In the modern world though, low cognitive control is not always such a good thing. Like some other people said, drugs, alcohol, and many other things can be dangerous and because teenagers act on impulse this creates an even more risky situation. Teens think that the reward outweighs the risk, and in some situations this is true. But teens need to think about what they are doing and think about what would happen to them if things dont work out as planned. Some people believe that bad things wont happen to them. But being stupid and taking unnecessary risks, well something bad is bound to happen one day. It would be great to see where these ideas will take the research of behaviour. Because of the complexity of the brain I think that there will be new discoveries continually made about behaviour.
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Josh King Konu

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PostSubject: Re: The Brain   Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:24 pm

Alicia is exactly right!
like once you leave your home your on your own meaning your gonna have to experience certain situations
and take a bigger consequence to ur bad actions if those are made soo my advice would be live wit your parents for ever hahaha
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Ciara Toppin



Number of posts : 28
Registration date : 2011-02-22

PostSubject: Re: The Brain   Mon Mar 21, 2011 4:34 pm

I found this article interesting as it explained that a difference of age meant a different in behaviour based on the brain. The neurological gap caused different age groups to have different tendencies. I also thought it was interesting that this was not only true for humans but for rats as well. It showed that species and different animals are more similar to each other than one would think.
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