The capacity to resist peer pressure in early adolescence may depend on the strength of connections between certain areas of the brain, according to a study carried out by University of Nottingham researchers.
New findings suggest that enhanced connections across brain regions involved in decision-making may underlie an individual’s ability to resist the influence of peers.
The study suggests that brain regions which regulate different aspects of behaviour are more interconnected in children with high resistance to peer influence.
Professor Tomas Paus and colleagues at The University of Nottingham used functional neuroimaging to scan adolescents while they watched video clips of neutral or angry hand and face movements. Previous research has shown that anger is the most easily recognised emotion.
Professor Paus and his team observed 35 ten-year-olds with high and low resistance to peer influence, measured by a questionnaire. The researchers then showed the children video clips of angry hand movements and angry faces and measured their brain activity.
They found that the brains of all children showed activity in regions important for planning and extracting information about social cues from movement, but the connectivity within these regions was stronger in children who were marked as less vulnerable to peer influence.
Those children were also found to have more activity in the prefrontal cortex, an area important for decision-making and inhibition of unwanted behaviour.
Professor Paus said: “This is important if we are to understand how the adolescent brain attains the right balance between acknowledging the influences of others and maintaining one’s independence.”
Future research will involve follow-ups with the same children to determine whether their resistance to peer influence is related to the brain changes observed in this study.
The work was a supported by grants from the Santa Fe Institute Consortium and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
Source: University of Nottingham
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- Part I: Bee Deaths Mystery Solved? Neonicotinoids (Neonics) May Actually Help Bee Health
- The BPA Paradox – Too Many Studies?
- 3X Saturated Fat In The Diet Doesn't Increase It In Blood
- Is Religion A Consolation Worth Having?
- Eosinophilic Esophagitis: Genetic Clues Of Severe Food Allergy
- GMO Labels Are Good For The $105 Billion Organic Industry - But No One Else
- Interstellar Is A Dangerous Fantasy Of US Colonialism
- "By the way, I am a fan of your blog. It's one of the few places I can follow physics without getting..."
- "Hello Anon,you're entirely right, it's arbitrary and it does not provide protection against cases..."
- "Henry wrote:I would not put it that way. One does not say that a complex number is anything..."
- "You'd think that the FDA, CDC, the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, World..."
- "requires a great self-deception in order to avoid facing the harsh reality ... --> no, it does..."
- Gene in kidney may play role in high blood pressure
- Panel-based genetic diagnostic testing for inherited eye disease proves highly accurate
- Research finds tooth enamel fast-track in humans
- Good news for cocaine users: Caffeine counters cocaine's effects on women's estrus cycles
- Clipping proteins that package genes may limit abnormal cell growth in tumors