Teenage Brain Myths or Reality

To discuss myths and realities about the brain

1

Is drinking ever safe for teenagers?

2

Do we only use 10% of our brains?

3

Do you have a right brain or left brain personality?

4

Why do teenagers not care about what adults say?

5

Is it possible that growing up in a violent environment can shrink your brain?

Intro

10 mins

Discuss some of these myths about the brain (don't let on at first that none of them are true) and discuss why people think that might be true. Here are the facts:

1. Young people are at greater risk of alcohol-related harm than adults. As the brain keeps developing into the mid-twenties, drinking alcohol as a teenager can greatly increase the risk of damage to the developing brain. It can also lead to problems with alcohol later in life.
2. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) shows that most of our brain is in use most of the time, even when a person is performing a very simple action. It varies from person to person. It also depends on what a person is doing or thinking about.
3. No it's a myth. Recent research using brain imaging technology hasn’t found any evidence of right or left dominance.
4. They do care, but the prefrontal cortex or front part of the brain is still growing. If you ever sense teenagers are not taking your feelings into account, it's probably because they're still making the connections.
5. The way adults behave around children has a big influence on the child's brain development. Handling conflict in a calm way can make a big difference to how the child develops at an early age, even while they are in the womb.

Reveal each answer as the discussion progresses and see which answers are the most surprising.

You are welcome to view the link which takes you to a 3 minute video on the Teenage Brain from Birkbeck, University of London.

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Link