Mother knows best . . .

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Horse
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Mother knows best . . .

Postby Horse » Thu Jan 26, 2017 5:45 pm

https://digest.bps.org.uk/2017/01/10/te ... is-around/

The traffic lights turn amber: should you brake or accelerate on through? If there’s a teenager at the wheel, the chances are he or she will put their foot down and keep going. Teenagers love taking risks, more so than any other age group. This is partly down to the immaturity of the teen brain: they do not yet show the same connectivity between frontal decision making areas and deeper reward-related brain areas, as compared with adults. But there’s also a social element. When an adult is around, teens tend to take fewer risks, and their brains show less reward-related activity after taking a risk, a phenomenon that psychologists call “social scaffolding” because it is as if the adult presence is helping the teen to attain adult-like behaviour. A new study in Developmental Science builds on these findings and makes the claim that a teenager’s brain is influenced to a greater extent by the presence of his or her mother than by an unfamiliar adult.


João Moreira and his colleagues scanned the brains of 23 15-year-olds (9 girls) while they played a risk-based game that involved going through a set of 26 traffic lights as quickly as possible and deciding at each set whether to accelerate or brake as the lights turned amber. Accelerating saved time usually, but also carried the risk of a crash which would lead to a greater delay than braking. The teens played the game twice: once in the presence of their mother who was located in the scan control room, and the other time in the presence of an unfamiliar female professor who was described as an expert in adolescent driving behaviour (some played the game with mum present first, others with the stranger present first).

There was a tendency for the teens to take fewer risks when their mum was present, as compared with the professor, but this difference didn’t reach statistical significance. However, at a neural level there were statistically significant differences between the conditions: when mum was present, the teens’ brains showed more reward-related brain activity after making safe decisions and less reward-related brain activity after making risky decisions. Mum’s supervision seemed to make caution a more pleasurable approach, at least at a neural level.

There was also an important difference between conditions in terms of the functional connectivity between decision making and reward-related brain regions in the brain. In the mum condition, but not the adult stranger condition, there was a negative correlation in the activity between these regions: a more mature pattern typical of that seen in adults.

Finally, the teens’ brains showed more activity in regions associated with perspective-taking when taking risks in the mum condition, perhaps suggesting they were concerned with what she might think.

The researchers interpreted their findings as suggesting there is something unique about the influence of a parent (or a mother, at least) on the way a teenager’s brain processes risk, which could have practical implications. For example risk-prevention educational programmes for teenagers, which often struggle to make a difference, might be more likely to be effective if parents are directly involved.

Unfortunately, the study is hampered by several methodological issues such as the small sample size and the lack of a baseline control condition: the latter means it’s not clear if differences between the conditions are caused by the benefits of a mother’s presence or the opposite effect of an unfamiliar adult. Also, many issues are left unanswered, such as: would a father have the same apparent effect as a mother? And does the quality of the parent-teen relationship matter?
My own views. For better or worse :)

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jont-
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Re: Mother knows best . . .

Postby jont- » Thu Jan 26, 2017 6:06 pm

Is it so different to whether you brake/accelerate for an amber light if you're on a driving test; or with plod following/observing? I don't think age has much to do with it.
Would an in car camera make you behave differently (particularly if you thought someone might actually look at the footage)?

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superplum
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Re: Mother knows best . . .

Postby superplum » Thu Jan 26, 2017 7:45 pm

One of the questions I always ask my "associates" at the start of their training is: What does the Amber traffic light mean and what is the purpose of the overlap bewteen the amber lights? It's surprising how few (all age groups) know the correct explanations.
:o

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dvenman
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Re: Mother knows best . . .

Postby dvenman » Fri Jan 27, 2017 7:19 am

superplum wrote:the purpose of the overlap between the amber lights? :o


Clarify "between" - do you mean the red/amber to green or green to amber to red transition?

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Horse
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Re: Mother knows best . . .

Postby Horse » Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:48 am

superplum wrote: what is the purpose of the overlap bewteen the amber lights? It's surprising how few (all age groups) know the correct explanations.


As per Dvenman, I'm not sure I understand the question, let alone the answer :)

It sounds like you mean opposing traffic streams will both see the amber phase concurrently. I don't think that happens . . .
My own views. For better or worse :)

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superplum
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Re: Mother knows best . . .

Postby superplum » Fri Jan 27, 2017 11:24 am

Tsk tsk! :D
The Amber to Red cycle should last min 2secs; Red+Amber to Green - min 3 secs. Reason, provides a small delay to allow traffic to clear (theoretically).

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Horse
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Re: Mother knows best . . .

Postby Horse » Fri Jan 27, 2017 11:57 am

superplum wrote:Tsk tsk! :D
The Amber to Red cycle should last min 2secs; Red+Amber to Green - min 3 secs. Reason, provides a small delay to allow traffic to clear (theoretically).


'Should' last? Are you saying that there is an answer but it's not always applied uniformly?
My own views. For better or worse :)

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Horse
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Re: Mother knows best . . .

Postby Horse » Fri Jan 27, 2017 12:03 pm

superplum wrote: what is the purpose of the overlap bewteen the amber lights? It's surprising how few (all age groups) know the correct explanations.


And surprising that, with so few people knowing this information, there isn't carnage light controlled junctions . . . :oops:
My own views. For better or worse :)

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GTR1400MAN
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Re: Mother knows best . . .

Postby GTR1400MAN » Fri Jan 27, 2017 12:08 pm

Ipswich has a few where the overlap is non-existent and due to the massive distances across the junction (wide road, traffic lights set well back in the mouth of the roads, plus Advance Stop Line areas) there are plenty of vehicles still in your path when you light is fully green.
Mike Roberts

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jont-
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Re: Mother knows best . . .

Postby jont- » Fri Jan 27, 2017 12:32 pm

superplum wrote:Tsk tsk! :D
The Amber to Red cycle should last min 2secs; Red+Amber to Green - min 3 secs. Reason, provides a small delay to allow traffic to clear (theoretically).

Ah yes, the network rail approach. People jump level crossings, ergo we really need to increase delays to make /really/ sure everyone has cleared them. Delays get worse, more people jump the warnings, rinse and repeat. Instead just fit the train with cow catchers. 10s delay should be plenty, not several minutes. People will soon learn :bash:

In the same way skip the amber, at least when going to green. Cars will soon learn not to jump lights the other way :twisted:


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