The media (newspapers, magazine articles, television news programs, and Web-based information) provide us with much of what we know about human biology. People often overlook these learning opportunities, but after taking a course on human biology, one is primed to take advantage of these chances for additional learning. Magazine articles on a special topic are particularly informative because they often go into greater depth and are a good way to continue learning or reviewing biology as a lifelong practice. Current articles are a good source of information about advances in a particular area of human biology, and they also highlight possible future advances in the treatment of certain conditions.
Still, with so much information available in the media, it is important to understand how to evaluate the credibility of these sources of information. We have all seen statistics presented in the media that we questioned, and information that appeared to be biased, misleading, or even inaccurate. How can we be sure we are taking in information that is objective, thorough, and accurate? Although we may not be experts, we can do our best to be informed and critical evaluators of information.
Review the article “Neurodevelopment: How Does the Teenage Brain Work?” and write and submit a summary. Include the following:
- Highlight the main points presented in the article. What message is the author trying to convey? Discuss specific areas of research and the findings.
- Discuss the role of nerve cells and brain development and function. Identify and describe the functions of the parts of the nervous system discussed in the article.
- Cross-check the information. What do other sources of information say about the same concepts presented in the article? Are there discrepancies between the information in the article and the Starr and McMillan text?
- Include an evaluation of your source by answering the questions in the source evaluation form for journal articles given in the Resources section. Explain in a paragraph or two why you would or would not consider this article to be a credible source of information on this topic.