Brief Tour of the Brain
The brain is a fantastically complex organ. A three-pound mass of spongy tissue encased in the skull, it is the locus of intelligence, creativity and learning. It interprets the environment through our senses, controls vital functions such as breathing and heart rate, enables body movement and mobility, and directs behavior.1
A full discussion of brain anatomy is beyond the scope of this course, but as a foundation for understanding what is happening in the brain during adolescence, a brief tour of the brain is helpful. Here we focus on those areas that undergo major changes during adolescence, as currently understood by researchers.