Teen Brains Go Through “Pruning” Phase

The next time you are ready to ask your teen what they they possibly thinking -- be ready for the “It’s the Synaptic Pruning process, Ma!”

LiveScience reports that scientists from UC Davis have been doing research on the teen brain and the process of filtering out unnecessary “connections” developed when they were children.

“When a child is born, their brain is not fully-formed, and over the first few years there's a great proliferation of connections between cells," physiologist Ian Campbell of the University of California, Davis tells LiveScience. "Over adolescence there is a pruning back of these connections. The brain decides which connections are important to keep, and which can be let go…The fact that there are more connections [in a child's brain] allows things to be moved around. After adolescence, that alternate route is no longer available. You lose the ability to recover from a brain injury, or the ability to learn a language without an accent. But you gain adult cognitive powers."

LiveScience also reveals that as they develop, teen’s brains go through multiple processes of development – including emotional advancements like the ability to empathize more. If you notice your teen has a hard time focusing on more than one thing at a time – this is also reportedly attributed to the lack of “multitasking” skills yet to be developed! 

Get more details on teen brain pruning here: http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/20090323/sc_livescience/teenbrainsclearoutchildhoodthoughts;_ylt=Ah_7sP3xhP3nfaoTKx4HquHgcbYF