Better understand adolescent impulsiveness and egocentricity

Secondary education professionals testify to this daily: adolescents push back the limits of egocentricity and extreme behavioral variations.

We all know that adolescence is marked by profound physical, hormonal and psychological changes associated with puberty. New medical technologies are enabling new mapping of the brain, and neurologist, professor and researcher in cognitive neuroscience, Sarah-Jayne de Blakemore of the University College of London (UCL) has a few explanations for us.

His research, conducted using a new magnetic resonance imaging technique, reveals several interesting findings that all teachers and parents working with teens should know:

  • Decrease in gray matter in the prefrontal cortex, which can be explained by a certain purification of synaptic activity where the lobe gets rid of certain synapses with a view to renewal with a view to carrying out new cerebral activities. The brain is, in fact, molting to prepare for abandoning childish tasks to accomplish more complex tasks intended for adult life;
  • The study of the so-called social brain reveals that the brain activity of the median prefrontal cortex is reduced compared to the same region in an adult, which explains that the brains of teens and those of adults employ different strategies during various social interactions. .
  • Social perspectives, due to brain development, are therefore essentially altered in adolescents. This explains why teens cannot react in the same way as adults when faced with situations of common life.
  • This results in a marked difficulty in taking into account a perspective from others, which aims to guide their own behavior in every sense of the word.
  • The adolescent’s social judgment is therefore impaired by a slowing down of certain areas of the brain.

The research results would therefore explain, at least in part, the behaviors that are usually denounced by adults about adolescents:

  • They are brainless and take unnecessary risks, regardless of the consequences of their actions;
  • There are frequent mood variations that may seem unwarranted;
  • They are impulsive and may engage in excessive behavior or language;
  • Seem to have difficulty censoring themselves;
  • They are egocentric and self-absorbed.

For more information, visit the website Pr. Of Blakemore.