COMPLETE Adolescent Psychology Notes: Part 5 [got a 93% in the course]

6 Pages

Counseling, Developmental, and Educational Psychology
Course Code
APSY 2041

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Class Notes #3 09/23/2013 *Competing Systems in the Brain Heightened risk taking may relate to competition between two very different brain systems: Cognitive­control networks  (prefrontal cortex) Socioemotional networks  (limbic system) Socioemotional system assertive during puberty  Cognitive control system gains strength gradually *The Prefrontal Cortex   “Hot bed!” of change during adolescence   “Executive” or CEO of brain: Self­evaluation, long­term planning, prioritizing, appropriate social behavior, impulse control, regulates  emotion attention, and behavior *Cognitive Control Networks “Growth spurt” in brain development and “pruning­down” process Both gray (“thinking part of our brain”) and white matter (insulation for brain’s circuitry) undergo structural  changes Synaptic “pruning ” of unnecessary neurons Myelination:  better insulation of these neurons “Fewer and faster connections in the brain” Average teen loses 15% of grey matter through “pruning” “Use it or lose it” principle *The Limbic System social center, triggers all rewards associated with not only survival but also reward on fire and changes dramatically in adolescence Includes the hippocampus, amygdala Important for emotion, behavior, long term memory, reward behavior, pleasure Changes in levels of neurotransmitters (amine and serotonin ) that process emotional stimuli and  affect reward sensitivity: Depend on our brain to release dopamine in order to experience pleasure and motivation for rewards Reason why adolescence is so up and down but also less sensitive to rewards in adolescence, therefore  takes more to feel the rewards. More responsive to stress BUT less responsive to rewards Less “rush” from rewards Changes increase vulnerability to substance use, depression, and other mental health problems *A Disease of Young People…BUT WHY?! So What Do Drugs Do to the Brain (We Know They are Bad but WHY?!)… Some drugs active neurons because their chemical structure mimics natural neurotransmitters (leads to  abnormal messages being transmitted) Other drugs cause nerve cells to release abnormally large amounts of natural neurotransmitters Drugs flood the brain’s reward system with dopamine and teaches them to repeat these behaviors Some drugs can release 2­10 times the amount of dopamine that natural rewards do Brain adjusts to these dopamine surges by producing less dopamine or reducing the number of receptors  that receive signals (why you see depressive effects) *Do Addicts Inherit a Brain That Has Trouble Saying “No” to Drugs? N=50 pairs of siblings (one member was cocaine addict and other had no history of drug abuse) Both brains looked different from those of typical people Fibers that connect areas involved in emotion with areas that tell us to stop doing something were less  efficient (it takes longer 
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