Navigation Links
Study: Pace of brain development still strong in late teens
Date:5/10/2011

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] Boys and girls have put many of the trappings of teenagerhood behind them by the age of 18 or 19, but at least some of the brain resculpting that characterizes the decade of adolescence may still be going as strong as ever, according to findings in a new study that measured brainwaves of subjects in their midteens and again in their late teens.

One of the kinds of neurological changes underway in a teen brain is a pruning of unneeded connections forged earlier in life the brain invests in developing some connections but sheds a higher volume of others. One way these changes can be measured, many researchers believe, is a drop in the power, or amplitude, of brainwaves over time.

What researchers found in their study of sleeping teens, said Mary Carskadon, professor of psychiatry and human behavior at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and director of the Sleep Research Center at Emma Pendleton Bradley Hospital, is that this amplitude reduction continues at about the same pace in the late teen years as in earlier years.

"There was a sense that the bulk of the change is happening in the younger adolescents," said Carskadon, the paper's senior author. "To see a continuation of this rapid and large change in the older adolescents was a surprise."

Their results appear in advance online in the journal Sleep.

Numbers from slumber

To conduct the study, the researchers asked five boys and nine girls aged 15 and 16 to sleep to certain preparatory specifications for a week at home and then to spend two nights in the lab while the team took all-night measurements. Then they brought the teens back two or three years later, between the ages of 17 and 19, for another week of preparatory sleep and then two more nights of monitored sleep. Previously, researchers in Carskadon's lab had done a similar study with younger teens.

Over the course of the study, the researchers also noted some other changes in the children over time. For example, they found that late teens continue an earlier teen trend of spending less and less time in so-called "slow-wave" sleep in favor of "stage 2" sleep. Meanwhile, they found that the reduction in electroencephalography (EEG) power seems to shift from the left side early in the teen years to the right side later in adolescence. That shift means that by the end of the teen years, the developmental process has occurred equally on both sides.

Lead author Leila Tarokh, a researcher at the University of Zurich and adjunct assistant professor of psychiatry and human behavior at Brown, said that although many previous studies using EEG, magnetic resonance imaging, or postmortem examination have yielded similar measurements of adolescent brain changes, this study added insight because of how it was structured.

"The unique feature of this study is that it puts together these EEG measures of power and looks at these sleep stages longitudinally (in the same people over time) and across several regions around the brain," she said.

Carskadon said that sleep is a convenient time to take long-term, well controlled measurements of neural activity, but that the study does not show the role sleep may play in neural renovation among older teenagers.

"For us, sleep is a window onto the brain," Carskadon said.


'/>"/>

Contact: David Orenstein
david_orenstein@brown.edu
401-863-1862
Brown University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Study: Rare deep-sea starfish stuck in juvenile body plan
2. U of I study: Before you start bone-building meds, try dietary calcium and supplements
3. Study: Reasonable quantities of red pepper may help curb appetite
4. VIMS study: Propeller turbulence may affect marine food webs
5. Study: Algae could replace 17 percent of US oil imports
6. Study: Emissions trading doesnt cause pollution hot spots
7. Nature study: Jefferson researchers unravel proteins elusive role in embryo and disease development
8. Study: Tiger numbers could triple if large-scale landscapes are protected
9. IU study: Humans critical ability to throw long distances aided by an illusion
10. UC Davis study: Wild salmon decline was not caused by sea lice from farm salmon
11. Study: Personal contacts at work help people better understand organ donation
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/3/2017)... 3, 2017  Data captured by IsoCode, ... detected a statistically significant association between the ... treatment and objective response of cancer patients ... predict whether cancer patients will respond to ... well as to improve both pre-infusion potency testing ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... , March 29, 2017  higi, the health ... in North America , today announced ... and the acquisition of EveryMove. The new investment and ... set of tools to transform population health activities through ... lifestyle data. higi collects and secures data ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... Forecast to 2025" report to their offering. ... The Global Biometric Vehicle Access System ... over the next decade to reach approximately $1,580 million by 2025. ... forecasts for all the given segments on global as well as ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... Disappearing forests and increased emissions are ... 5.5 million people each year. Especially those living in larger cities are affected by ... in one of the most pollution-affected countries globally - decided to take action. , ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 10, ... ... development-stage cancer-focused pharmaceutical company advancing targeted antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) therapeutics, today confirmed ... targeted HPLN (Hybrid Polymerized Liposomal Nanoparticle), a technology developed in collaboration with ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... Calif. , Oct. 10, 2017 SomaGenics ... from the NIH to develop RealSeq®-SC (Single Cell), expected ... for profiling small RNAs (including microRNAs) from single cells ... Program highlights the need to accelerate development of approaches ... "New techniques for measuring levels ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... ... The award-winning American Farmer television series will feature 3 Bar Biologics in an ... on RFD-TV. , With global population estimates nearing ten billion people by 2050, ... a growing nation. At the same time, many of our valuable resources are becoming ...
Breaking Biology Technology: