This week, we learned many things. From reading very hard articles, to some kind of easy to understand, to going to the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD). In all honesty, reading the article Diving up the Brain because it was easy to read and I was happy I could understand so much. On Wednesday I showed my friends my annotations on the article, and they were surprised because I annotated so much. They were saying things like, “You actually liked reading it?, You wrote so much..” This reading helped me understand so much more about my brain, and about my The Power Within Story. I wish I had read this when I was writing my personal narrative. I was able to make greater connections and understand even more why the even that I wrote about affected me in the way it did. I’m kind of upset I didn’t read this article before because I know this could’ve made my biological connection stronger.
This week we also started our social topics. This is a project in which we’ll create zines advocating for a social justice topic. Right away I knew mine was going to be Body Image. This is not only a problem I’ve faced, but also the most important woman in my life, my mother. I am very passionate and excited to dig deeper in this project. I want to help my mother, friends, and many people this way.
This week, we learned about how the teenage brain works, specifically, how it reacts and why us as teens do the things we do. The frontal cortex is the part of the brain that is involved with problem solving,, memory, language, initiation, judgement, impulse control, and social and sexual behavior. It is also the last part of the brain to fully develop. This means that as teenagers, we’re not so good at problem solving, impulse control, judgement, and all of the purposes of the frontal cortex. We also learned about how the striatum is more active in teenagers than in adults. The striatum is the part of the brain that is involved with the reward system. Since this part is more active in our brain as teenagers, it causes more dopamine to be released when something good happens, making a reward really pleasing. As teens, we don’t usually make the right decisions because our brains are wired to maximize rewards and minimize threats. This means that we’re more likely to take a risk because we think that the reward is bigger than the threat. I feel like I was able to learn a lot about how the teen brain is wired when we read the article “Your Brain, excerpt from Brainstorm, the purpose and power of the teenage brain (2013)” because it gave a pretty relatable example for teens of a girl who drank alcohol. I was able to put this example to some risks that I’ve taken, and realized that I put more attention to the reward of my action, than the consequences. Going into next week, I want to read about more examples of when the brain maximizes a reward and minimizes a threat because I want to see how far a teenager’s brain can go.