Mapping the teenage brain

By Marla Jo Fisher, The Orange County Register
Posted March 18, 2013, at 11:37 a.m.

Have you heard that scientists want to spend $3 billion to map the intricacies of the human brain?

Now, considering that this is potentially going to cost more money than all the Real Housewives of Orange County’s breast implants put together, you might wonder what the heck we’re all going to get out of it.

Well, how about some possible answers to what causes autism? Along with better treatments for stroke patients, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Worth paying for, don’t you think?

That made me wonder whether this project will deal with really important issues — like finding out why teenagers are obsessed with the zombie apocalypse. And why they can program their cellphones as if they were the progeny of Bill Gates, but can’t see a clod of dirt the size of Kansas when they’re cleaning the bathroom.

Then I realized that the scientists have an even bigger task at hand. Because as the mother of teenagers, I can assure those researchers that the adolescent brain bears only a slight resemblance to anything human. It really needs an entirely separate map.

Now, exploring the vagaries of the teenage brain is not for the faint of heart. But I can help.

Due to my amazing scientific knowledge, culled from my own formative years plus being the mother of two teenagers, I am able to cobble together a pretty accurate map of what goes on in the teenage brain, without any invasive procedures whatsoever.

Frumpy Mom’s Teenage Brain Activity Map would include the following larger lobes and organs, ranked in order of size: sex, embarrassment, being cool, pretending to know everything, mood swings, cellphones, texting, video games, cusswords, acne, sleeping late, hip-hop music, driving a car and zombies and vampires.

The following areas of the map are so small they can’t be recorded: judgment, homework and public affection for the parental units.

Apparently, scientists are actually already trying to develop tiny devices that can be implanted in the brain to overcome neural diseases, such as Parkinson’s and cerebral palsy, that could someday allow thoughts to become actions. For example, you think you move the chair, and your arm will move it, even if you are paralyzed.

According to my many scientific studies, they’re going to be testing some of these brain devices on worms, leeches and rats before they implant them in other animals and, ultimately, humans. I have a few guys I’ve dated whom I’d like to recommend.

In any event, I’m sure the project was worthwhile and will provide great help to humankind, especially to some of the more genetically mutated members of my own family.

Marla Jo Fisher was a workaholic before she adopted two foster kids several years ago. Now she juggles work and single parenting, while being exhorted from everywhere to be thinner, smarter, sexier, healthier, more frugal, a better mom, better dressed and a tidier housekeeper. Contact her at mfisher@ocregister.com. Follow her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/FrumpyMiddleagedMom and on Twitter @FrumpyMom.

©2013 The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.)

Distributed by MCT Information Services

http://bangordailynews.com/2013/03/18/health/mapping-the-teenage-brain/ printed on September 18, 2014