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Flashcards in PBL 1 Deck (12):

What is adolescence?

Considered to be between the ages of 13 - 19 but can start as early as 9.
Can be seen as a period of preparation for adulthood, where key developmental experiences occur.


What behavioural changes are seen during adolescence?

Adolescents begin to develop the capacity for abstract reasoning, but are not fully capable of understanding complex concepts and the relationship between behaviour and consequences.

- attain independence, sexual role, self-control of aggression and achievement of self-identity.
Maturational tasks of growing up


What are the main neurodevelopmental changes seen in adolescence?

- prefrontal cortex changes
- grey matter decline
- synaptic pruning
- less actuve medial prefrontal cortex
- hypersensitive limbic system
- myelination occurs


Describe the changes in the prefrontal cortex during adolescence

involved in high level cognitive functions such as planning, inhibiting inappropriate behaviour and social interactions


Describe grey matter changes during adolescence

grey matter volume increases during childhood, coming to a peak in pre-adolescence, whilst in adolescence there is a decline. This is caused by declines in the number of synaptic processes in the grey matter but also increases in myelinated white matter tracts that pass underneath the grey matter. Meaning there is an overall increase in the grey matter: white matter volume


What is synaptic pruning?

elimination of unwanted synapses/axons. Getting rid of synapses that aren't being used to allow the important branches to grow stronger.

makes the brain more efficient, as synapses are
energetically costly and removing useless ones allow the brain to run efficiently


Describe the effect of the limbic system in adolescence

The limbic system is hyper-sensitive to the acts of risk taking in adolescents compared to adults


Describe myelination in adolescence

Myelination starts at the back of the brain and ends at the front, where the last area to become myelinated is the prefrontal cortex.

myelin reduces the required energy for electrical transmission


What is the definition of ADHD?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a group of behavioural symptoms that includes:
• Inattentiveness - A short attention span or being easily distracted
• Hyperactivity - Restlessness, constant fidgeting or over-activity
• Impulsiveness - Acting or doing without any forethought. Poor awareness of danger, accident prone.


What are the innatentive signs of ADHD?

• Short attention span, and easily distracted
• Making careless mistakes, i.e. in school work
• Appearing forgetful or losing things
• Being unable to stick to tasks that are tedious or time consuming
• Appearing unable to listen or carry out instructions
• Constantly changing activity/task
• Having difficulty organising tasks


What are the hyperactivity/impulsiveness signs of ADHD?

• Unable to sit still, especially in a calm or quiet environment
• Constantly fidgeting
• Being unable to concentrate on tasks
• Excessive physical movement
• Excessive talking
• Being unable to wait their turn or acting without thinking
• Interrupting conversations
Little or no sense of danger


What are the environmental factors of ADHD?

• Low birth weight
• Maternal smoking
• Poverty
• Lead exposure
• Iron deficiency
• Maternal alcohol drinking
• Psycosocial adversity