Teenage Brains!!!

What a better time to dig into brains than with Halloween right around the corner. If learners understand how they, themselves tick, don’t you think we can all help them more? Teachers, Parents, Coaches, etc?

Small groups of 3 or 4 students read 1 of 5 articles to understand themselves as learners, thinkers and people in general. They created a “top 10” list to teach the class, focusing on helpful items they would like to teach and share with classmates. Here are their findings. Fascinating, but completely logical. 

  1. During adolescence, decision making skills can be overly influenced by emotions rather than rational thinking.
  2. The development of the prefrontal cortex and the limbic (emotional) system doesn’t occur until age 17 or 18.
  3. Teenagers are not fully capable of thinking about how their actions will affect other people.
  4. Having “common sense” requires a fully connected frontal lobe and for some, this does not occur until their twenties. Being unorganized is a part of the process of the connection of the frontal lobe.
  5. The teenage brain will process short term memories while you sleep and store them. You will perform better on tests if you study and then go to bed.
  6. A teenage brain is essentially an adult brain with less miles.
  7. The brain’s emotional system is more active during adolescence than any other stage of life.
  8. If a student feels threatened, their brain can trigger the fight, free, flee, or faint response. It can take up to 90 seconds for spiky emotions to subside.
  9. Adolescence varies from age 12 to 24. This time period is the most important for brain growth.
  10. The average middle school brain can obtain 5 to 7 bits of information at a time. Teachers can help by providing limited amounts of information at a time.
  11. Different brains develop at different rates of time.
  12. Intelligence is not something that you are born with or gifted at birth, and when students learn that they can develop intelligence it is empowering.
  13. An estimated 98% of schools don’t practice neural integration activities which helps the brain communicate with the body, in recalling both actions & information.
  14. By helping a teen feel more secure in their abilities, their achievement in the classroom will improve.
  15. Teens need guidance in how to study and prepare themselves to be successful.
  16. The more interesting the information is to teens, the more interested they will be in learning about it.


  1. Understanding Hyperrational Adol Brain
  2. 5 Facts about the teenage brain
  3. Brains, Brains, Brains, How the MS Mind works
  4. The Teenage Brain: It’s just not grown up yet
  5. Brain Development in Adolescents


Here is another article that is helpful for you.

Top 10 Skills MSers need & How parents can help


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