When children enter adolescence their brains begin to undergo a series of rapid changes – actually a sort of neural overhaul – shedding what was needed in childhood and adding functions and abilities that are critical in adulthood.
Despite these considerable and ongoing changes, when something in the brain remains so steadily unaltered, neuroscientists take notice.
In a study co-authored by Dr. Mary Carskadon, professor of psychiatry at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and director of the Sleep Research Laboratory at E.P. Bradley Hospital, researchers have found that most of their teenage study subjects maintained a unique and consistent pattern of underlying brain oscillations.
This observation appears to support an idea, already observed in adults, that people produce a kind of unique brain wave “fingerprint.”
On the Science World radio program this weekend, Professor Carskadon talks more about the study and how these “fingerprints” could someday lead to a method to predict and possibly treat those who may go on to develop mental illnesses such as schizophrenia or depression. Listen to a preview of the interview here:
Other stories we’ll cover on the Science World radio program include:
- NASA says Endeavour problem is fixed with launch set for Monday, 05/16/11
- Doctors say too much salt in your diet can lead to serious heart health problems
- Dinosaur skull find reveals youthful predators traveled in gangs
- Villages in Senegal are turning to solar power
- Clothes in the future could sense wearer’s tension and change colors according to mood