Why We Don't Give In To Impulse Anymore: The Brain Explanation

Khryss | Published 2017-06-04 11:41
Do you remember when you were such an impulsive kid? The kid that constantly nags his/her mom about a toy he/she randomly sees in the mall? Remember when that child cried so hard just to convince his/her mom to buy it? Well, look at you now. An adult that's much more composed and "better". You don't succumb to your instincts anymore (uhm... at least not that much), relying on self-control and discipline instead. (We all know how difficult it is though.) But have you ever wondered why is that? What has happened to our brains that we become less impulsive as we grow up? Studying on the changes in our brain as we grow older, specifically on the process wherein we become more well-behaved and proper (hopefully), scientists from the University of Pennsylvania may have the answer. They've analyzed the changes on our brain as our "executive function", the set of skills associated with greater discipline and focus, develops. To do this, they've gathered 882 people ages 8 to 22 and analyzed their brain scans. They then compared the scans of younger brains to older brains. With this, they've found two major changes: One is that as the brain ages, different parts of it become sorted into "modules" that work in groups. Second is that while the brain segregates into modules, it isn't becoming fragmented. Instead, the connections between modules are even getting stronger. This shows how the brain gets more complex and complex over time. This could help in diagnosing patients with brain development impairments as it aids doctors and scientists into seeing whether the brain is or isn't developing. https://www.theverge.com/2017/5/26/15699608/brain-development-aging-executive-function-skills-neuroscience
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