Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Teenage brains

Teenage Brains - Pictures, More From National Geographic Magazine: Researchers such as Steinberg and Casey believe this risk-friendly weighing of cost versus reward has been selected for because, over the course of human evolution, the willingness to take risks during this period of life has granted an adaptive edge. Succeeding often requires moving out of the home and into less secure situations. "The more you seek novelty and take risks," says Baird, "the better you do." This responsiveness to reward thus works like the desire for new sensation: It gets you out of the house and into new turf.

As Steinberg's driving game suggests, teens respond strongly to social rewards. Physiology and evolutionary theory alike offer explanations for this tendency. Physiologically, adolescence brings a peak in the brain's sensitivity to dopamine, a neurotransmitter that appears to prime and fire reward circuits and aids in learning patterns and making decisions. This helps explain the teen's quickness of learning and extraordinary receptivity to reward—and his keen, sometimes melodramatic reaction to success as well as defeat.
The teen brain is similarly attuned to oxytocin, another neural hormone, which (among other things) makes social connections in particular more rewarding. The neural networks and dynamics associated with general reward and social interactions overlap heavily. Engage one, and you often engage the other. Engage them during adolescence, and you light a fire.

Younger people tend to be R or B, they are looking to put down their roots by secretly looking for opportunities. Later they can cooperate with others as Bi or Ro to protect their Gb private property or G turf. They are like growing seeds of a plant that thrive by fast growing and competing against other seedlings to not be overshadowed. Young R prey survive by hiding and spotting danger until they are strong enough to cooperate with others in protections as Ro.

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