Questions & Answers
Below is a list of the most common question, with possible solutions how I can help you.
What is the effect of social media on the teenage brain?
The findings in a new UCLA study shed the following light on the influence of peers:
- “The same brain circuits that are activated by eating chocolate an winning money are activated when teenagers see large numbers of “likes”on their own photos or photos of peers in a social network.
- Lauren Sherman said that “the region that was especially active is a part of the striatum, called the nucleus accumbens, which is part of the brain’s reward circuitry, which is thought to be particularly sensitive during adolescence. When they saw a photo with more likes, they were significantly more likely to like it themselves. Teens react differently to information when they believe it has been endorsed by many of few of their peers, even if these peers are strangers. In the past, teens made their own judgments about how everyone around them was responding. When it comes to likes, there is no ambiguity”.
- Professor Mirella Dapretto said that in the teenagers’real life, the influence of their friends is likely to be even more dramatic. In the study the teens were still responding to peer influence although it was a group of virtual strangers. Their willingness to conform manifested itself both at the brain level and in what they chose to like. The researchers should expect the effect would be magnified in real life, when teens are looking at likes by people who are important to them”.
- The researchers said that parents are right to be concerned because many teens and young adults befriend people online whom they don’t know well and that opens up the possibility of a child being more influenced by people who may engage in more risk-taking behaviour the child’s immediate friends”.
- Professor Greenfield, a UCLA professor in psychology said: “When teenagers looked at risky photos compared with neutral photos, they had less activation in areas associated with ‘cognitive control’and ‘response inhibition’, including the brain’s dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, bilateral prefrontal cortices and lateral parietal cortices. The conformity effect was particularly large for their own pictures which shows the importance of peer-approval”.
- Professor Dapretto said that “these brain regions are involved in decision-making and can inhibit us from engaging in certain activities, or give us the green light to go ahead. Seeing photos that depict risky behaviour seems to decrease activity in the regions that put the brakes on, perhaps weakening teens’ ‘be careful’filter”.
- Sherman points out a possible advantage of social networks: “If your teen’s friends are displaying positive behaviour, then it is fabulous that your teen will see that behaviour and be influenced by it. In addition, teens’ self-identity is influenced by the opinions of others”.
What is Attention?
“Attention is the ability to obtain and sustain appropriate attention to a task. Attention can be influenced by motivation, self-esteem, sensory integration, practice, languages difficulties and any existing diagnosis” (Kid Sense Child Development)
Why is attention important?
“Effective attention is what allows us to screen out relevant stimulation in order to focus on the information that is important in the moment. This means that we are able to sustain attention which then allows us to engage in task for long enough to repeatedly practice it. Repeated practice is crucial for skill development. Attention also allow us to pay attention to the important details” (Kid Sense Child Development).
How do I know my child has problems with attention?
- Children may not attend to a task when required or requested to do so.
- They repeatedly make the same mistakes.
- They miss details in instructions.
- They find it difficult to listen to all of the information presented.
- They find it physically difficult to either calm down or to wake up as they appear sleepy and lethargic.
- They get distracted easily by something else and the forget to complete what as asked of them.
Which scholastic problems can occur when a child has attention difficulties?
- Children struggle to learn new work and skills.
- Their receptive language (ability to understand) tend to be insufficient.
- Their auditory processing (accurately understanding verbal information) tend to be slow.
- They experience difficulty with reading, spelling, verbal and reading comprehension.
- They find it difficult to learn and broadening a repertoire of play skills.
- They may have the inability to follow instructions.
- There work pace is slow.
- They may present with hearing difficulties.