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  • Neil: Hello and welcome to 6 Minute English. I'm Neil...

  • Rob: ... and I'm Rob. Hello.

  • Neil: Hello, Rob. I like your new hoody.

  • Rob: Oh, right! Thanks a lot.

  • Yes. A hoody is a sweatshirt with a hood, by the way.

  • You don't think I'm too old for hoodies, do you?

  • Neil: Never. No, no. You too old? Never, Rob!

  • It's all about how young you feel inside, isn't it?

  • Rob: Is that right?

  • Well, I don't feel a day over sixteen, Neil. sixteen, Neil.

  • Neil: Excellent! Now, that might help you

  • because in this programme we're talking about the teenage brain!

  • So, are you ready for today's quiz question, Rob?

  • Rob: Yes, I am Neil. Fire away.

  • Neil: OK. What part of the brain is connected with basic emotions?

  • Is it the... a) prefrontal cortex?

  • b) cerebral cortex?

  • or c) limbic sytem?

  • Rob: OK. I was terrible at biology

  • I never listened in class.

  • So I'm going to have to take a guess and say the answer is a) prefrontal cortex.

  • Neil: OK, well. We'll find out if that's the right answer at the end of the programme.

  • Now Rob, were you a well-behaved student?

  • Rob: Well, I wasn't badly behaved.

  • But we had a horrible school uniform

  • and sometimes I got detention just for having my shirt hanging out.

  • Neil: Well, that's pretty harsh!

  • Detention means having to stay at school after the day to do extra work.

  • Rob: Yes it was a punishment for doing something wrong.

  • Now some people think that

  • typical teenage behaviour such as embarrassment, anxiety, mood swings

  • and risk taking is caused by changing hormones.

  • Neil: Mood swings are sudden changes of mood

  • and hormones are chemicals in the body that stimulate cells and organs into action.

  • Rob: Yes. I bet you were a moody teenager, Neil!

  • Neil: I might have been (in a teenage voice)...

  • no, let's not go there, Rob.

  • Now, apparently, it's not only our hormones that change when we reach adolescence

  • that's the age when we start changing into an adult.

  • Rob: That's right. According to scientific research,

  • some teenage behaviour is probably caused by changes in the brain.

  • Let's listen to Professor Sarah-Jayne Blakemore talking about this.

  • What's the phrase she uses to mean 'to enjoy'?

  • Professor: There's a pretty established theory of risk taking

  • the biological basis of risk taking

  • which is that two different systems in the brain developed at different rates.

  • The parts of the brain called the limbic system,

  • which includes the regions of the brain that give you a rewarding feeling out of taking a risk,

  • a kind of kick out of taking a risk, and an emotion out of taking a risk, are developing

  • more quickly than the part of the brain called the pre-frontal cortex, which inhibits risk taking.

  • Neil: So what risks do teenagers typically take?

  • Rob: Well. The things most parents worry about,

  • such as drinking, smoking, possibly taking drugs, and driving too fast.

  • Neil: And the reason that they take these risks

  • might be because the area of the brain that rewards risk-taking behaviour develops more

  • quickly than the area of the brain that inhibits

  • or slows down ... risk-taking behaviour.

  • Rob: And what was the phrase she used to mean 'enjoy something'?

  • Neil: It was to get a kick out of something.

  • Teenagers 'get a kick out of' and are rewarded for taking risks by one part of the brain

  • the limbic systemwhile the other part

  • the pre-frontal cortexdoes little to slow things down.

  • Rob: Well, that sounds more fun than being an adult.

  • But actually, we often give teenagers a hard time.

  • Let's hear more about this from Sarah-Jayne.

  • Sarah-Jayne Blakemore: Something that I've noticed since working with teenagers is that

  • they are the butt of many jokes.

  • And they're parodied left, right and centre.

  • They're demonized in newspapers.

  • And whenever I tweet anything about the teenage brain

  • which I do quite frequentlyinvariably, inevitably,

  • I'll get a reply from someone saying,

  • 'Oh, what, teenagers actually have brains?'

  • Neil: Now of course some teenagers are very brainy

  • brainy is another way of saying clever.

  • I know young people who are brilliant at maths, art and science.

  • Rob: But we heard Sarah-Jayne describe teenagers as being the butt of a joke

  • that means to be its target.

  • And if you parody someone

  • you copy their style in an exaggerated way to make people laugh.

  • Neil: And to demonize a person or a group means

  • to talk about them as if they were evil or threatening.

  • Poor teenagers, Rob!

  • Rob: Oh, don't worry, Neil.

  • they'll grow up and be like us one day!

  • And now it's time to hear the answer to today's quiz question.

  • Neil: Yes it is. I asked you, what part of the brain is connected with basic emotions?

  • Is it the... a) prefrontal cortex? b) cerebral cortex?

  • or c) limbic system?

  • Rob: And I chose a) prefrontal cortex. Was I right?

  • Neil: Well. I'm afraid to say, Rob, that you were absolutely wrong.

  • Rob: Using the wrong part of my brain, obviously.

  • Neil: Yes. The answer is c) the limbic system.

  • But don't get too emotional about getting that wrong

  • and instead, please remind us of the words we learned today?

  • Rob: Good idea. We heard:

  • hoody

  • detention

  • hormones

  • adolescence

  • inhibits

  • get a kick out of something

  • limbic system

  • prefrontal cortex

  • brainy

  • butt of a joke

  • parody

  • to demonize

  • Neil: Well, that's the end of today's 6 Minute English.

  • I hope you got some kicks from today's show!

  • You can hear more programmes at bbclearningenglish.com.

  • Please join us again soon.

  • Both: Bye.

Neil: Hello and welcome to 6 Minute English. I'm Neil...

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BBC 6 Minute English June 18, 2015 The Teenage Brain

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    Adam Huang   に公開 2015 年 06 月 20 日
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