Adolescence Physical Development

Adolescence physical development


Brain changes

Most mammalian animals have a fully developed brain at birth. This is far from the truth in the case of the human animal. For the longest time, researchers believed that our infantile, immature brains would be largely complete by puberty. However, recent studies using technology made available by neuro-scientific research reveal that large parts of the brain continue to change throughout adolescence and beyond. These studies show that there is a coincidence of great cortical growth during the adolescence period, making it look like a spurt in brain change and development. This growth is mainly devoted to the increase in the number of synapses (connections between nerve cells) that marks the end of a long pruning process (cell death) that continued throughout the childhood. Synaptic growth in the brain is mainly responsible for increased cognitive abilities over a vast and varied types of skills, ranging from integrating information from various sources to decision making to language functions to emotional regulation and maturity.

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