Teenagers are frequently known as out for his or her reward-seeking behavior, but new research implies that this might not always be considered a bad factor. This behavior can certainly help adolescents study from their encounters and make preparations them for their adult years.
“Studies from the adolescent brain frequently concentrate on the unwanted effects of teens’ reward-seeking behavior. However, we hypothesized this inclination might be associated with better learning,” co-author Daphna Shohamy, from Columbia University’s Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute, stated inside a statement.
“Using a mix of learning tasks and brain imaging in teens and adults, we identified patterns of brain activity in adolescents that support learning – serving to steer them effectively into their adult years,” she added.
The research printed Wednesday within the journal Neuron discovered that the coordinated activity of two parts of the adolescent brain grants teenagers the opportunity to gain knowledge from the connection between their reward-seeking behavior.
Researchers from Harvard, Columbia and California universities studied 41 teenagers and 31 adults. They first centered on the striatum, which coordinates several facets of greater thinking processes like planning and decision-making. Additionally, it plays a huge role in reinforcement learning.
“In basic form, reinforcement learning is creating a guess, being told whether you’re wrong or right, and taking advantage of that information to create a better guess the next time,Inches the paper’s first author Juliet Davidow from Harvard College stated within the statement.
“If you guess right, the striatum shows activity that matches that positive feedback, thus reinforcing your decision,Inches Davidow added. “Essentially, it’s a reward signal that can help the mind learn to repeat the effective choice again.”
Because of the adolescents’ reward-seeking behavior, they recommended that teenagers are the best at reinforcement learning than adults. Within the memory and movie tasks they administered towards the subjects, adolescents performed much better than adults. Researchers assumed that teenagers performed better as a result of hyperactive striatum but brain scans of adult and teenage subjects demonstrated “no improvement in reward-related striatal activity.”
They discovered that the main difference between your groups lay within the hippocampus, the brain’s memory center. Although it’s important for storing recollections, the hippocampus is generally not connected with reinforcement learning. In adolescents, they discovered that the striatum and hippocampus interact.
“What we are able to originate from these results is that not teens always have better memory, generally, but instead the means by that they remember differs,Inches Shohamy stated. “By connecting a couple of things that aren’t intrinsically connected, the adolescent brain might be attempting to develop a more potent knowledge of its surroundings throughout an important stage in existence.”