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The Brain and Emotions

The amygdala (almond sized in the centre of the brain) is involved in the regulation of emotions. It often works with the hypothalamus to control and release hormones. Some hormones are responsible for helping transport information around the nervous system. So when some types of hormones are released this improves and when other hormones are produced this interferes with this process. That’s why its difficult to learn if you are stressed or angry.

It is important that the emotion of self control is shown by students. Delaying self gratification is vital with respect to the emotions. A study has shown that children who can hold this self regulation, tend academically later on be more focused and less stressed. Fear, anger and stress lessen learning ability. This of course has ramifications for older people returning to education. On the other hand positive emotions help with learning. Feelings of failure and lack of confidence are found in higher levels amongst people from less privileged backgrounds. Adolescents have "high horsepower but poor steering." This means that cognitively, adolescents are at a very advanced level but emotionally they are very poor. It is vital that adolescents try and foster some emotional regulation i.e. they need to acknowledge their deficits: attention focus, solve problems and support relationships.

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