HEART-MIND 2014: The "Brainstorm"

By Matthew Clarke

Right before lunchbreak on day 2 of the conference, Dan Siegel dropped by, via the power of technology, to discuss the research in his new book, “Brainstorm” all about the changes in the adolescent brain. 

As a former adolescent myself, and as the father of 2 future adolescents (a fact that often keeps me awake at night), I was totally hooked. You should really get the book, like I did, because he breaks down what happens in adolescence, which is actually major changes to the brain’s structure and function, and he dispels the old myths that teenagers are just hormonally induced crazy people.

All the things we’ve come to know and love about teenagers are the fault of their new brains. It “prunes” itself and becomes significantly faster and more efficient. It creates a drive to pursue things that are unknown and new, and it plays down danger in favour of the exciting. And it pushes towards social engagement, favouring “membership” sometimes at the expense of morality.

But before I could feel too much like all hope was lost and my kids were simply destined to drive me crazy, he reminded us that what emerges from the adolescent brain is innovation. Ingenuity, creativity and courage are all hallmarks of the adolescent brain, and we can thank it for huge strides in art, technology and everything around us.

To be continued

Matthew Clarke is a Vancouver-based filmmaker, songwriter, musician, writer, father of two awesome children, and a proud out -of- league husband.  His latest short web-series, "Convos with my two year old," has become an internet sensation in it's first season and is available on YouTube .




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