Are You Even Listening To Me? Well, Scientifically . . . No

an-experiment-on-a-bird-in-the-air-pump-1768.jpg!BlogNow this is a study that any parent, particularly mothers, can verify with field research. A group of neuroscientists from the Universities of Pittsburgh, California-Berkeley and Harvard, and led by Kyung Hwa Lee have found that pre-teenage and teenage brains actually appear to partially shutdown when hearing criticism from mothers. In the meantime, another set of scientists have discovered a possible way to cut off pain — creating the ultimate possibility for teenagers to hear and feel nothing.

The study of 32 pre-teens and teens (with an average age of 14) included 22 girls. The study examined three areas of the brain associated with processing negative emotion (the limbic system), regulating emotion (the prefrontal cortex), and perspective (temporal and parietal lobes). Not only if the areas with negative emotions show an increase during critical comments from mothers but a reduction in activity in regions involved in emotional control and perspective. There are some questions about the methodology discussed in the article below, but the conclusion seems easily verified by any parent.

If they really want to show the emotional control and perspective readings hit a scientifically immeasurable low, they should monitor the typical husband’s brain while resting on a couch. Yesterday, you could have done dental surgery on me during the Bears-Lions game, though in the end it felt exactly like dental surgery. That is why the other breakthrough on blocking the pain pathway chronic neuropathic pain is so promising for Bears fans this season. The study actually could block pain caused by chemotherapeutic agents and bone cancer, which are very similar in intensity to watching the team this season.

Source: Wired

50 thoughts on “Are You Even Listening To Me? Well, Scientifically . . . No”

  1. Oh Squeekers, you finally wrote one about yourself?! You are the queen of the Irish Poem!

  2. OMG, but one of the commenters here moves me, nay—compels me!— to write another poem!!!

    Stir Crazy???
    A Short Quatrain, or Two by Squeeky Fromm

    I have a little bitty pot,
    That I stir all day long.
    And my pot, it sings to me,
    This little bitty song:

    Oh stir me up! It feels sooo good!
    Oh listen to me bubble!
    Oh Isn’t this an easy way,
    To stir up lots of trouble!

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  3. DBQ,
    I have a 31 year old son and 27 year old daughter who have turned out very well despite the difficulties they endured with their parents divorcing early in their lives. I was in the Navy and missed a lot of their early development as well as the limited influence of being a “visiting” Dad.

    My wife and I adopted a 1.5 year old son who’s now 6 and I feel blessed with the opportunity to be a part of his development. I do agree now that children are a reflection of their parent(s); I didn’t necessarily see it that way with my prior two children (unless I was pointing my finger at my ex-wife). ;( I would like to have a do-over with my older children and my youngest will be the closest thing to it. 🙂

  4. I think you’re correct in your observation Olly, but as usual we disagree with who is doing what to whom. All this Saul Alinsky talk. I never read Saul Alinsky, never heard of him until several years ago when conservatives were talking about him non stop. To clarify misperceptions, I don’t ever seek or destroy anyone. I was a nurse, it was never my goal in life to harm, much less destroy anyone. I seek to understand what perplexes me. I sense such animosity from you Olly, ‘Tis the Season’, put down the spear, isn’t it getting heavy?

  5. Fitting (Synonyms): “applicable, appropriate, apt, becoming, befitting, felicitous, fitted, fit, good, happy, meet, pretty, proper, right, suitable”

    And as you so predictably stepped in it: of the same odor.

    Fitting; as in how this blog manifests itself; far from the more desirous RIL, where reason and logic are in abundance.

    Thank you for proving my point.

  6. An old saying I ‘lovingly’ used on my 3 teen daughters and 1 teen son was “I wish upon you a child just like yourself! “. My daughter and I have chuckled about this several times in those instances in which my 14 year old granddaughter has said and done something identically exasperating to what her mom, my daughter said and did at that age. Being a grandmother is such fun!

  7. It would be interesting to know what was happening in the mothers brain while this was going on .

    Yes. It would.

    My mother died when my daughter was just 2 years old. I remember thinking as a young parent of the things that I would NOT do or say that my parents did or said to me. Nothing horrible or abusive. Just normal parental nagging. I was going to be a more perfect wonderful “bestest evah”……modern parent. (ha ha ha)

    One day when my daughter was 4, I was irritated with her behaviour and made some comment. I don’t remember what it was, but at the exact moment I said it, I realized that was exactly what my mother would say to me and I had the strangest sensation of her voice coming out of my mouth. I could literally hear her voice echoing in my head. It was weird and sort of comforting at the same time. I miss my mom.

    I decided then, that I would just give up and be a parent according to the example set by my parents…..and quit over thinking this sh*t. It will all work out.

    And….it did 🙂

  8. Another question. Who, Olly, do you think should be Searching, Classifying and Destroying? Do you think this is Professor Turley’s role? Or yours?

  9. Teji

    Thanks for your comments. A welcome change from the 8th grade playground name calling and denigration that too frequently populates the comments section of this blog.

    We have a young adult autistic son who is somewhat high functioning. Trying to bridge the “generation gap” with him is perhaps the greatest challenge of my life. Putting yourself in the shoes of others is always helpful in a variety of contexts. Thanks for the reminder that it is helpful when parenting as well.

    1. Don: Thanks for your kind words. I understand how difficult it is when you have an autistic child to rear because I have one in my family too. I could feel the compassion, pain and more importantly love in your wonderfully powerful post.

      Please do not consider it a Cross that you and your wife have to carry but a blessing because I am sure this experience, how unsavoury it is at times has made you two better people between yourselves and among others.

      I wish you all the luck and hopefully we have enough medical advancements in the future where autism would be detected in the wombs and the cures would start there because the ones who suffer the most are the ones with it.

      I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving. 🙂

  10. “….. a more fitting motto for this blog would be the same as our ASW motto: Sagire – Classis – Destructum (Search – Classify – Destroy…”

    Wow and here I thought this blog was for discussion and debate. Thanks for the insight.

  11. JT: Thanks for posting on a very interesting subject that links all of those together who are parents. I am a parent of two. 24 & 19.

    I wrote an article several years ago after my first child was born about the generation gap because we all know parenting has no manual that one can use. It is very subjective because cultures, parents’ treatment as kids and many other things shape our personal parenting manuals.

    I will paraphrase part of my article here as I am not able to locate it.

    Generation gap is created by the parents, not by the kids. We, as parents demand from our kids to come to us when they need to ask questions about anything and when they do the same wrongs as we expected them to, we demand them that they should have come to us before the bad things took place. This is the main reason because of our personal parenting manuals, the shouting and the screaming start. This, as a result perhaps creates the shut off switch in the kids.

    If we think a bit deeper about this, then we will come to the conclusion that we as their parents have gone through a lot more than our kids. As a result, we happen to know about the pitfalls and other bad things like bullying etc. etc. unlike our kids who are there to learn from us. We may not be able to avoid every bad thing that may occur in their lives, but by becoming conversationalists rather than screamers, we can motivate them to come to us rather than being fearful.

    Not trying to toot my own horn here, but both my kids gave themselves ‘time outs’ after I had given them a couple of times.

    So, if we came closer to them by getting off our Lazy Boys and went to their bedrooms to create a conversation in their lingo from the very beginning when they are able to understand, then there would not be any need for the constant screaming, yelling and accusations.

    It is our duty as parents to bridge this so called generation gap, not the other way around.

  12. Darren,
    I’m curious to know if “self-evident truths” would apply to this phrase.

    On a lighter note; RIL doesn’t seem to accurately fit this blog though. My Navy background was in Anti-submarine warfare and a more fitting motto for this blog would be the same as our ASW motto: Sagire – Classis – Destructum (Search – Classify – Destroy). 🙂

    1. RIL means Res ipsa loquitur (“The thing itself speaks”)

      It is another way of referring to this website

  13. Professor,
    I’m certain this is not dependent on chronological age but emotional maturity. To prove that point, they should wire up the participants in this blog; there are many “subjects” right here in the RIL that clearly demonstrate “brains actually appear to partially shutdown when hearing criticism from conservatives.

  14. Neuroscience is one of the most fascinating fields to me. I attended a seminar @ the Stanford Neuroscience Institute on magnetic imaging and truth detection. The seminar was conducted by a scientist and law professor, covering both the technology and legal ramifications. Anyone interested in stuff like this should get on the email list of this institute. The seminars are free and they even provided a nice sandwich lunch!

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