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WHAT MAKES Healthy teenagers




Sleep -  Rest Is Not Idleness: Reflection Is Critical for Development and Well-Being 2012
A recent article in the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science surveys existing literature from neuroscience and psychological science, exploring what it means when our brains are at rest. Studies suggest that individual differences in brain activity during rest are correlated with components of socioemotional functioning such as self-awareness and moral judgment, as well as different aspects of learning and memory. Mary Helen Immordino-Yang of the University of Southern California and her colleagues believe research on the brain at rest yields important insights into the centrality of reflection and quiet time for learning. "We focus on the outside world in education, and don't look much at inwardly focused reflective skills and attentions, yet inward focus impacts the way we build memories, make meaning, and transfer learning into new contexts," she says. "What are we doing in schools to support kids turning inward?" She and her colleagues argue that mindful introspection can be an effective part of the classroom curriculum, giving students skills to engage in constructive internal processing and productive reflection. Research indicates that when children are given time and skills necessary for reflecting, they become more motivated, less anxious, perform better on tests, and plan more effectively for the future. Read more:

Playing multiple violent videogames increased their risk of being highly aggressive

IQ, the standard measure of intelligence, can increase or fall significantly during our teenage years and these changes are associated with changes to the structure of our brains. The findings may have implications for testing and streaming of children during their school years.


Teens Still Developing Decision-Making Skills
Although most teens have the knowledge and reasoning ability to make decisions as rationally as adults, their tendency to make much riskier choices suggests that they still lack some key component of wise decision making. Why is this so? Because adolescents may not bother to use those thinking skills before they act. That's the finding of a new study by researchers at Temple University that appears in the journal Child Development. "The study's findings have important implications for debates about whether adolescents should be held to the same standards of criminal and other responsibility as adults," according to Dustin Albert, a PhD candidate at Temple who authored the study. "Research charting age differences in such capacities is increasingly being consulted for guidance on social and legal policies concerning adolescents."
Older test takers did better on the tower test, showing greater ability to plan ahead and solve problems. On the hardest problems, mature performance wasn't seen until at least age 22. Since solving the hardest problems on the test is known to make strong demands on the brain's frontal lobes and teens' frontal lobes are still maturing, this finding wasn't unexpected, according to the researchers. Late teens and early adult years) did better because of improvements in impulse control."Late developmental improvements in problem solving may have less to do with getting smarter and more to do with a growing capacity to settle down and think things through before acting," according to Albert. "Programs that target adolescents' still-emerging capacity to plan ahead, control their impulses, regulate their emotions, and resist peer pressure may help bolster youngsters' ability to make good decisions in the real world."

[Youth with superior IQ are distinguished by how fast the thinking part of their brains thickens and thins as they grow up...] The cortex also thins faster during the late teens, likely due to the withering of unused neural connections as the brain streamlines its operations.]

TEENAGERS BRAIN That's the problem. . . I wasn't thinking!" Highlights what parents, nurses, and others puzzle over when working with teens... is teen thinking different from that of adults? Do teens think about the same things as adults?


Teenagers do, physically, need around nine and half hours sleep a night


During Sleep new brain cells are wired, thus increasing intelligence, self-awareness and performance.
They get on average about seven hours, whereupon they often become cranky, slower-witted and resentful. Russell Foster, chair of circadian neuroscience at Brasenose College, Oxford, has shown that teenagers' brains work better during the afternoon. They're not lazy, they're biologically programmed. There are simple reasons why they never clean up. First, they haven't the time. Second, nobody clears up as much as someone else might want them to. Third, they aren't usually as good at it as adults. They haven't had the practice.


More than half of children and teenagers who text, or surf the internet at bedtime are likely not only to have problems falling asleep, but experience mood, behavior and cognitive problems during the day, said US researchers at a conference in Canada this week, who alsofound that on average, a teenager sends a total of over 3,400 electronic messages at bedtime every month. Wed, 03 2010


You Snooze or loose!


The large academic consequences of small sleep differences. A slightly sleepy sixth-grader will perform in class like a mere fourth-grader.
Dr. Monique LeBourgeois of Brown University studies how sleep affects pre-kindergartners. Virtually all young children are allowed to stay up late on Fridays and Saturdays. Yet she's discovered that the sleep-shift factor alone is correlated with performance on a standardized school-readiness test. Every hour of weekend shift costs students seven points on the test. Dr. Paul Suratt of the University of Virginia studied the impact of sleep problems on vocabulary-test scores of elementary-school students. He also found a seven-point reduction in scores. Seven points, Suratt notes, is significant: “Sleep disorders can impair children's I.Q.'s as much as lead exposure.”

America is raising a nation of
sleep - deprived kids
Only 20% get the recommended nine hours of sleep on school nights and more than one in four reporting dozing off in class. Many are arriving late to school because of oversleeping and others are driving drowsy, according to a new poll by the National Sleep Foundation. "In the competition between the natural tendency to stay up late and early school start times, a teen's sleep is what loses out," said Jodi Mindell.
Nearly all the youngsters -- 97 percent -- had at least one electronic device in their bedroom. These include televisions, computers, phones or music devices.
Adolescents with four or more such devices in their bedrooms are much more likely than their peers to get insufficient sleep, the foundation reported.

Patch of brain put to sleep Local snoozing makes for better learning By Tanguy Chouard 6/04
A good night's rest is hard work for parts of your brain, say US neuroscientists. Regions related to learning show increased activity in sleepers who spent their evening mastering a new skill, they say. The discovery shows that sleep is valuable for consolidating new information and is not a simple 'standby' mode. Local brain processing during the night led to new skills being more firmly cemented, the research indicates.

Sleep-Deprived Teens Report Stress, Mood Disorders by Lynne Lamberg
Call them Generation Zzzzz: The nation's teenagers get too little sleep, a recent poll finds.
Six in 10 American students in grades 9 to 12 average less than eight hours of sleep on school nights, according to the National Sleep Foundation 2006 Sleep in America poll, released in March. Research shows most adolescents need at least nine hours of sleep to feel and function at their best.
"Poll data confirm and extend what we've learned about adolescent sleep patterns and problems over the past few decades," said Mary Carskadon, Ph.D., poll task force chair. She directs the E.P. Bradley Hospital sleep and chronobiology research laboratory at Brown University.
Polltakers surveyed by telephone a randomly selected sample of the U.S. population: 1,602 adult caregivers of teenagers, and, separately, their children aged 11 to 17 in grades 6 to 12. The combined adult/child interviews took about 25 minutes and were conducted between September 19, 2005, and November 29, 2005. The poll has a margin of error of 2.4 percentage points.
Carskadon's summer sleep camp studies in the 1970s show pubertal changes prompt an increased need for sleep. She later found a delay in the timing of the body's biological clock also kicks in at puberty, shifting adolescents' physiological readiness for sleep to 11 p.m. or later.
As students get older, homework, extracurricular activities, jobs, and socializing push bedtimes even later. "Many teenagers' bedrooms are a technological playground, with access to a radio, television, telephone, computer, and the Internet," Carskadon said. The poll found 97 percent of adolescents have at least one electronic item in their bedroom. Sixth graders usually have two; 12th graders have four. Those with four or more items reported about 30 minutes less sleep than those with fewer devices.
"Talking with friends and instant messaging keep adolescents from feeling tired in the evening," Carskadon noted. "But they must get up around 6:30 a.m. to get ready for school." Most high schools in the U.S. open slightly before 8 a.m., and most middle schools open slightly after 8 a.m., too early for most teens, Carskadon maintained.
At least once a week, 1 in 4 students in grades 9 to 12 dozes in class, and 1 in 7 oversleeps and arrives at school late or misses school. Among those who drive, 51 percent admit driving while drowsy in the past year, and 15 percent report fighting sleepiness while driving at least once a week.
Sixth graders average 8.4 hours of sleep on school nights, and students in grade 12, only 6.9 hours. Taking naps and sleeping longer on weekends disrupts body clocks and does not adequately replace lost sleep, Carskadon said. [source]

Issues surrounding sleep -- who needs how much and when -- are usually given short shrift in efforts to improve student achievement. But modern brain researchers say it is time that more schools faced the biological facts. Sleep deprivation can affect mood, performance, attention, learning, behavior and biological functions. Teenagers have long complained that starting school about 7 a.m. -- the typical start time for many high schools -- is cruel and inhumane. But some adults tend to blame the griping on their behavior -- procrastination that leads many teens to stay up late to do homework, or nightly marathon phone sessions with friends. Now, computer games and instant messaging have made it even more alluring to stay up. "People tell me that changing school start times to later is just mollycoddling the kids," said Kyla Wahlstrom. "I'd say they are people who don't want to accept the fact that there is a different biology for teens." That might be one reason that it's not unusual to find a high school parking lot at 7 a.m. filled with students clutching cups of coffee, writes Valerie Strauss. Scores of school systems -- though no one has an exact number -- have moved back the start of high school from 15 minutes to more than an hour. Teachers report that in schools with later start times, students were more alert. Other research showed a range of benefits to students and teachers -- and contradicted some of the biggest fears about the change: that after-school sports and jobs would suffer.However, there are more than 13,000 school systems in the United States,and the vast majority of high schools still start about 7 a.m.

Snooze your way to high test scores NewScientist YOU are trying to commit something to memory, take a nap. Even a short daytime snooze could help you learn.A good night's sleep is known to improve people's ability to learn actions such as mirror writing. REM sleep, when most dreaming occurs, is thought to be particularly important. The role of sleep in factual learning has been less clear. Now Matthew Tucker at The City University of New York and his colleagues have shown that even a nap with no REM sleep can help. Volunteers were told to memorise pairs of words (a test of factual learning) and to practise tracing images in a mirror (action learning). When they were tested straight afterwards and 6 hours later, those who had been allowed a nap of up to 1 hour before the re-test scored 15 per cent better in the factual test than the non-nappers, but no better in the action test (Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, vol 86, p 241). "Traditionally, time devoted to daytime napping has been considered counterproductive," the researchers say. It now seems sleep is "an important mechanism for memory formation".






2012 Dell tycoon's teen daughter has Twitter account shut down after father spends $2.7million on security... and she tweets family's EVERY MOVE The billionaire CEO of the computer giant Dell Inc has learned the hard
way that money cannot buy a sense of security, especially when efforts to keep the family safe are being thwarted from within - by his own
daughter. Like most teenagers, Michael Dell’s 18-year-old daughter, Alexa, has been very active on popular social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, detailing her every move. She posted a photo of her brother, Zachary, on a Tumbler site
called the Rich Kids of Instagram depicting the magnate’s son devouring a luxurious buffet on his way to Fiji. Like most young web users eager to open their lives to the world with little or no regard for privacy, even when their father is worth $15.9 billion and 41st on Forbes Billionaire List.


The "you can't take it back" issue.

Generation M

multi task OUCH!


Automaticity: The Impact of Distractions on Work and Driving


Multi Tasking Teenagers and their Brains - It's a myth
They aren't doing it better or faster, in fact they are hurting their brains. Brodmann's Area 10 is part of the frontal lobes, which "are important for maintaining long-term goals and achieving them," Grafman explains. "The most anterior part allows you to leave something when it's incomplete and return to the same place and continue from there." This gives us a "form of multitasking," he says, though it's actually sequential processing. Because the prefrontal cortex is one of the last regions of the brain to mature and one of the first to decline with aging, young children do not multitask well, and neither do most adults over 60. New fMRI studies at Toronto's Rotman Research Institute suggest that as we get older, we have more trouble "turning down background thoughts when turning to a new task," says Rotman senior scientist and assistant director Cheryl Grady. "Younger adults are better at tuning out stuff when they want to," says Grady. "I'm in my 50s, and I know that I can't work and listen to music with lyrics; it was easier when I was younger." But the ability to multiprocess has its limits, even among young adults. When people try to perform two or more related tasks either at the same time or alternating rapidly between them, errors go way up, and it takes far longer--often double the time or more--to get the jobs done than if they were done sequentially, says David E. Meyer, director of the Brain, Cognition and Action Laboratory at the University of Michigan: "The toll in terms of slowdown is extremely large--amazingly so." Meyer frequently tests Gen M students in his lab, and he sees no exception for them, despite their "mystique" as master multitaskers. "The bottom line is that you can't simultaneously be thinking about your tax return and reading an essay, just as you can't talk to yourself about two things at once," he says. "If a teenager is trying to have a conversation on an e-mail chat line while doing algebra, she'll suffer a decrease in efficiency, compared to if she just thought about algebra until she was done. People may think otherwise, but it's a myth. PDF

Dynamics of the Central Bottleneck: Dual-Task and Task Uncertainty
Mariano Sigman, Stanislas Dehaene
Unit INSERM 562, Cognitive Neuroimaging, Service Hospitalier Frdric Joliot, CEA/DRM/DSV, Orsay, France, 2 Collge de France, Paris, France
Source: PLoS Biology (Open Access)
Why is the human brain fundamentally limited when attempting to execute two tasks at the same time or in close succession? Two classical paradigms, psychological refractory period (PRP) and task switching, have independently approached this issue, making significant advances in our understanding of the architecture of cognition. Yet, there is an apparent contradiction between the conclusions derived from these two paradigms. The PRP paradigm, on the one hand, suggests that the simultaneous execution of two tasks is limited solely by a passive structural bottleneck in which the tasks are executed on a first-come, first-served basis. The task-switching paradigm, on the other hand, argues that switching back and forth between task configurations must be actively controlled by a central executive system (the system controlling voluntary, planned, and flexible action). Here we have explicitly designed an experiment mixing the essential ingredients of both paradigms: task uncertainty and task simultaneity. In addition to a central bottleneck, we obtain evidence for active processes of task setting (planning of the appropriate sequence of actions) and task disengaging (suppression of the plan set for the first task in order to proceed with the next one). Our results clarify the chronometric relations between these central components of dual-task processing, and in particular whether they operate serially or in parallel. On this basis, we propose a hierarchical model of cognitive architecture that provides a synthesis of task-switching and PRP paradigms.

Teen CyberBullyies




One of the best ways to prevent cyberbullying is to empower the bystanders. Teens really do have the ability to make a difference.

Keep Teens Safe BULLIES New study says half of teens admit bullying 2009

for Teens



Homework Help for Teens

Women Girls Tech the CyberTeens
Contests, games, chats, etc. for both girls and boys and offers a space to showcase creative teens at their best.

National studies show that Texas' retention statistics omit about 78,000 teens who might otherwise be counted as dropouts.

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