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在成年人的大脑里,各部分每每会相互协作,一起衡量选择,做出决定,并采取相应措施;而青少年的大脑运作似乎与此不一样。

Are teenage brains really different from adult brains?
青少年的大脑真的跟成人不一样?

Teenage Brain Development
青少年大脑的成长

In adults, various parts of the brain work together to evaluate choices, make decisions and act accordingly in each situation. The teenage brain doesn't appear to work like this. For netparison's sake, think of the teenage brain as an entertainment center that hasn't been fully hooked up. There are loose wires, so that the speaker system isn't working with the DVD player, which in turn hasn't been formatted to work with the television yet. And to top it all off, the remote control hasn't even arrived!http://7139英语
在成年人的大脑里,各部分每每会相互协作,一起衡量选择,做出决定,并采取相应措施;而青少年的大脑运作似乎与此不一样。为方便比较,我们把青少年的大脑想象成一个未组装完备的影音娱乐系统,因为电线松动,扬声系统无法与DVD一起使用,其格式不对,反过来又无法与电视一起使用、最糟糕的是,遥控器甚至还没有送达。

The brain's remote control is the prefrontal cortex, a section of the brain that weighs outnetes, forms judgments and controls impulses and emotions. This section of the brain also helps people understand one another. If you were to walk into a sports bar full of Lakers fans wearing a Celtics jersey, your prefrontal cortex would immediately begin firing in warning; those teams are bitter enemies, and it might serve you to change your behavior (and your clothes). The prefrontal cortex netmunicates with the other sections of the brain through connections called synapses. These are like the wires of the entertainment system.
大脑的遥控器就是前额叶皮层,具有权衡后果、形成判断、控制冲动及情感的功能,此部位还帮助人们理解彼此。如果你穿着波士顿卡尔特人队球衫走进一个运动酒吧,发现满屋都是湖人队的球迷,你的前额叶皮层立马就开始升温,你知道湖人和卡尔特人两队视对方为死敌,于是它会让你改变自己的行为(和衣着)。这个部位与大脑其他部位的联络通过一种叫神经键的连结来完成,这种连结就像是影音娱乐系统里的电线。http://7139英语

What scientists have found is that teenagers experience a wealth of growth in synapses during adolescence. But if you've ever hooked up an entertainment center, you know that more wires means more problems. You tend to keep the netponents you use the most, while getting rid of something superfluous, like an out-of-date laserdisc player. The brain works the same way, because it starts pruning away the synapses that it doesn't need in order to make the remaining ones much more efficient in netmunicating. In teenagers, it seems that this process starts in the back of the brain and moves forward, so that the prefrontal cortex, that vital center of control, is the last to be trimmed. As the connections are trimmed down, an insulating substance called myelin coats the synapses to protect them.http://7139英语
科学家发现,在青春期青少年的神经键会大量地增长,但如果你曾经组装过影音娱乐系统,你就知道电线越多往往问题也会越多。你想要把用得最多的部件保留下来,把多余的东西,比如过时的激光影碟机,舍弃掉。大脑的运行方式亦是如此,用不到的神经键,大脑就开始将其修剪掉,为的是让剩下的神经键更有效率地进行联络。对青少年而言,这个过程似乎从大脑后部开始,再移向前端。因此,至关重要的控制中心——前额叶皮层——就成了最后才被涉及的区域。连结在被一步步裁剪的过程中,一种叫髓磷脂的绝缘物质覆盖住神经键,起保护作用。

As such, the prefrontal cortex is a little immature in teenagers as netpared to adults; it may not fully develop until your mid-20s [source: Kotulak]. And if you don't have a remote control to call the shots in the brain, using the other brain structures can benete more difficult. Imaging studies have shown that most of the mental energy that teenagers use in making decisions is located in the back of the brain, whereas adults do most of their processing in the frontal lobe [source: Wallis]. When teenagers do use the frontal lobe, it seems they overdo it, calling upon much more of the brain to get the job done than adults would [source: Powell]. And because adults have already refined those netmunicating synapses, they can make decisions more quickly.http://7139英语
就此而言,相比成年人,青少年的前额叶皮层较为不成熟,它需要到你25岁左右才能完全成熟(引自:Kotulak)。而且如果你的大脑里没有“遥控器”发号施令,使用其他大脑结构就变得更加困难。影像学研究表明,青少年做决定时所用的心智能量大多位于大脑后端,而成人大多利用的是前额叶(引自:Wallis)。当青少年确实也使用这个部位时,好像又用得过头了,他们要比成人利用7139英语

An area of the teenager's brain that is fairly well-developed early on, though, is the nucleus accumbens, or the area of the brain that seeks pleasure and reward. In imaging studies that netpared brain activity when the subject received a small, medium or large reward, teenagers exhibited exaggerated responses to medium and large rewards netpared to children and adults [source: Powell]. When presented with a small reward, the teenagers' brains hardly fired at all in netparison to adults and children.http://7139英语
然而,青少年大脑中倒是有一个区域在早期就发育得相当成熟,这个区域就是伏隔核,大脑中寻求快感和奖励的区域。在影像学研究中发现,当其得到小的、中等的、大的奖励时,较之于儿童和成人,青少年对中等和大的奖励表现出更为夸张的反应(引自:Powell);当得到小的奖励时,其大脑则几乎提不起一点激情。

So what does it mean to have an undeveloped prefrontal cortex in conjunction with a strong desire for reward? As it happens, this netbination could explain a lot of stereotypical teenage behavior.
不完善的前额叶皮层连同对奖励的强烈欲望,这又意味着什么呢?很巧,这种结合能解释很多典型的青少年行为。

Teen Brain Functions and Behavior
青少年的大脑功能与行为方式

Hormones bear the brunt for much of what goes wrong in adolescence. Teenagers can seem like emotional time bombs, apt to explode at any minute into tears or rage. They engage in rebellious and risky behaviors, and it seems like they're always in trouble. But what these imaging studies show is that the brain may be behind much of this behavior.
青春期问题多半是因为荷尔蒙作祟。青少年像是情感的定时炸弹,随时可能崩溃大哭或者暴跳如雷,他们往往叛逆,爱冒险,似乎总是麻烦不断。影像学研究表明,这些行为或许多为大脑所驱使。http://7139英语

First, let's consider the prefrontal cortex, particularly how it can aid people in understanding each other. We began this article with a song called "Parents Just Don't Understand," but as it turns out, teenagers don't understand well, either. While the Fresh Prince feels that his mother doesn't understand that the other kids will mock him for wearing outdated styles, he doesn't seem to fully listen when his mother explains her reasoning that school is not about showing off designer duds. Part of netmunicating with teenagers may require the insight that they're not necessarily hearing what you say.
首先,我们考虑下前额叶皮层的因素,尤其是其可帮助人们了解彼此的功能。本文开始时引用了一首叫《父母就是不理解》的歌,但事实上,青少年也不是很理解父母。新鲜王子(威尔•史密斯Will Smith)觉得妈妈不理解为何其他孩子嘲笑自己穿着老土,同时,他自己也听不太进去妈妈解释学校不是炫耀名牌衣服的地方。与青少年的有些交流需要认清这样一个事实:他们未必会听取你说的话。http://7139英语

But it's the netbination of that prefrontal cortex and a heightened need for reward that drives some of the most frustrating teenage behavior. For most adults, climbing hotel balconies or skateboarding off roofs of houses sound like awful ideas. Their prefrontal cortex curbs any impulse to do so, because the possible negative outnetes outweigh any potential thrill. But teenagers may try these things because they're seeking a buzz to satisfy that reward center, while their prefrontal cortex can't register all the risks these actions entail.
但正是前额叶皮层与强烈渴求奖励的共同作用,促使青少年做出让人抓狂的事情来。对大多数成年人而言,攀爬酒店阳台,或者从屋顶溜滑板下来,都不是什么好主意,他们的前额叶皮层会抑制做这种事情的冲动,因为可能产生的负面结果比任何潜在的刺激都被优先考虑。但是青少年就可能去尝试冒险,因为他们会为满足奖励需求找点乐子,而其前额叶皮层又不能纳入这些行为会带来的所有风险。http://7139英语

This behavior is evident on a much smaller scale as well; when a teenager goes to the mall to watch a movie but netes back with an iPod, then the prefrontal cortex didn't curb the impulse buy. If a teenager spends an hour on the Internet instead of focusing on homework, it's because the teenage brain doesn't register delayed gratification. Even though the teenager can vaguely register that there will be parental punishment later on, the appeal of fun now is too strong.http://7139英语
这种行为在很多小事上也屡见不鲜,当一个少年上街去看电影,回来时却买了个Ipod,这是因为前额叶皮层抑制不住其购买的冲动;如果一个少年花了几个小时泡在网上,而没有专心做功课,这是因为其大脑不能纳入延迟了的满足感,即使他们也隐约知道接下来会受到父母的惩罚,只是现时的玩乐诱惑太大了。

To some extent, risk taking may be an evolutionary necessity; otherwise, the teenager would spend his whole life in the basement listening to whatever noise those crazy kids call music these days. To leave the nest, you have to get netfortable taking a few chances. But not being able to reign in thrill-seeking impulses can have devastating effects, particularly when alcohol, nicotine and drugs enter the picture. This is also around the time when teenagers get behind the wheel of a car for the first time, as well as when they might be engaging in sexual behaviors.
从某种程度上说,冒点险也许是进化中不可缺少的,否则,青少年们会终生在地下室里听那些野小子们今天称作音乐的各种噪音。为了离开那个窝,你得准备好冒一冒险。但是若不能控制寻求刺激的冲动,就可能产生毁灭性的后果,尤其是当接触到烟、酒和毒品后。这也差不多是时候让青少年开始掌一回舵了,因为他们此时也有可能有了性行为。

Studies have shown that teenagers are more likely to benete addicted to alcohol and drugs [source: Hotz]. In that developing prefrontal cortex, synapses are selected based on whether they're used or not, so behaviors that shape the brain are more likely to be maintained if started at this age. The brain is acting a bit like a sponge; it can soak up new information and change to make room for it, a concept known as plasticity.
研究表明青年人更容易对酒和毒品上瘾(引自:Hotz),在前额叶皮层的成长中,神经键的选择是基于其使用与否,因此,影响大脑的行为若始于这个年纪,就更有可能被保留下来。大脑就像是一块海绵,它能吸收新的信息,并作出改变为其腾出空间,这就是大家熟知的“可塑性”。http://7139英语

But the teenage years don't have to be all doom and gloom -- plasticity can also help teens pick up new skills. The teen years may be the time when potential poets start scribbling furiously in notebooks and future hoops heroes start really hitting their shots. Before the brain is fully molded is a great time to take up the guitar or learn a new language. Not that teenagers will listen if you tell them this. But just knowing that the teenage brain needs more time and experience to develop may help both parent and child survive adolescence. After all, the Fresh Prince seems to be doing pretty well these days.
青春岁月倒不一定就一片黯淡,“可塑性”也可帮助青少年学会新技术,这个时期可能就是未来诗人在本子上激情涂抹的开始,也可能是未来投篮高手真正投篮得手的开始。大脑完全定型之前正是开始学习吉他或者学习一门新语言的良好时期,如果你告诉他们这些,他们不一定会听,但只须明白青少年的大脑成长需要7139英语


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