Teenage Brain Jensen

Decent Essays
On March 29th, I attended Dr. Frances Jensen’s, "The Teenage Brain,” talk. I found her work on brain development to be very interesting. I was shocked that literature about the teenage brain has mostly been written in scientific journals and only really been produced and available to the public in the last decade. Why has it taken this long? Teenagers are an important part of our society, as they are being groomed to “take over” as the older generation ages. That is why it is very important to understand their brains and how best to help them make the right decisions. Dr. Jensen discussed development and how the brain, the most complex organ in the body, is the last to mature and for most species (including humans) it connects from the back to front. Therefore, the prefrontal cortex is the last thing that “connects” and even then, the cells must become insulated to more quickly carry information. There are miles of connections in the brain and without this insulation, teenagers cannot make decisions as quickly as adults. As Dr. Jensen stated, teenagers physically look like adults, and are therefore expected to act like adults. However, their brain is not fully developed,…show more content…
These “night owls” are often up past 10:30 p.m. (especially college students!) and will sleep-in in the morning. We have learned in class that an appropriate amount of time to sleep for a teenager is nine hours and sleep deprivation is going to affect them. If they don’t get the necessary amount of sleep they need, being tired is going to cause teenagers to be unable to focus in class and do well on exams. However, it seems general school hours are run on “adult time,” although they are institutions used to educate teenagers. Would it be better to have school hours be during the “prime time” of teenager’s day? Resting during their “natural sleep” would allow them to wake up refreshed and would probably be more beneficial to their
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