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

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.


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

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