“There Is Nothing Supernatural About a Near Death Experience”.

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  • Topic: Cerebrum, Mesolimbic pathway, Cingulate cortex
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25/02/2011

Adolescence

Learning Outcomes
• By the end of the lecture, and with additional reading, students should: - be able to articulate the two system hypothesis - be aware of the evidence in support of differential rates of maturation in the socio-emotional and cognitive control systems - be aware of the theoretical implications of differential rates of maturation in the socio-emotional and cognitive control systems

PY0004 Chris Pawson
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2QNO9xDADB 8 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbsQKd9ELf4&f eature=related

Studying Adolescence
• Study of adolescent thinking dominated by Piagetian theory until the 1980s • Accepted by most textbooks but not empirically testable • Search for framework of understanding for 25 years • Conventional models of adolescent thinking do not adequately account for adolescent behaviour

A puzzle to ponder….
• Research clearly shows that, by age 16, individuals show adult levels of performance on tasks of basic information processing and logical reasoning • But in real world situations adolescents show poorer judgment than adults

APA Perspectives on Abortion and Juvenile Culpability
Hodgson vs Minnesota (APA Amicus brief to court) By age 14 most adolescents have developed adult-like intellectual and social capabilities including specific abilities outlined in the law as necessary for understanding treatment alternatives, considering risks and benefits, and giving legally competent consent

Roper vs Simmons (APA Amicus brief to court)
Given that 16- and 17-year olds as a group are less mature developmentally than adults, imposing capital punishment on such adolescents does not serve the judicially recognised purposes of the sanction

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A Bad Press for the APA
• Scalia on Psychologists The APA which claims in this case that scientific evidence show persons under 18 lack the ability to take moral responsibility for their decsisions, has previously taken precisely the opposite position before this very court An apparent contradiction? Where should we draw the legal boundary?

The Public Health Context
Compared to adults, adolescents… • Have more fatal car crashes (even adjusting for inexperience) • Commit more crimes (property and violent) • Engage in more binge drinking • Are less likely to practice safe sex • Attempt suicide more often • Expensive members of society!

A Tale of Two Systems
• The Social-Emotional System • The Cognitive Control System • Both systems have been shown to undergo significant change during the adolescent decade.

The Socio-Emotional System
• Processing of Emotions • Social Information • Reward and Punishment • Key Nodes: Nucleus Accumbens Ventromedial PFC Posterior Cingulate cortex Amygdala Superior temporal sulcus

The Socio-Emotional System
• Neural Activity is elevated in this system when decisions favour emotional demands (McClure et al., in press) • Major changes in early adolescence – around puberty

Laviola et al. (2003)
Adolescent mice move to open (barrier-less) maze runs faster – taking risks

• Attentiveness to rewards
• Sensation seeking



 

• Increased / easier emotional arousal • Attentiveness to social information

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The Cognitive Control System
• Working Memory • Logical Reasoning • Planning & Regulating Impulses • Key Nodes: Anterior Cingulate Cortex Lateral PFC Posterior Parietal cortex

The Cognitive Control System
• Develops gradually from preadolescence, well into the mid 20s • Changes result in: Impulse control  Emotion Regulation  Foresight  Planning Ahead  Reasoning 

Summary 1
• The excitation of the Socioemotional system occurs early in adolescence • The maturation of the cognitive control system is gradual and not complete until late in adolescence • The „accelerator‟ is activated before a braking system is in place • The engine starts without a skilled driver

Steinberg’s Hypotheses
• Cognitive control system...
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