Stress isn’t always a bad thing; it can be handy for a burst of extra energy and focus, like when you’re playing a competitive sport or have to speak in public. But when it’s continuous, it actually begins to change your brain. This video shows how chronic stress can affect brain size, its structure, and how it functions, right down to the level of your genes.
Watch a video and choose the best answer for each question.
1. Where are the endocrine glands that control the HPA axis?
a) Brain and spinal cord
b) Skin and heart
c) Brain and kidneys
d) Stomach and kidneys
2. How does increased cortisol make you more afraid?
a) It increases the activity of the neurons in the fear center of your brain, the amygdala
b) It decreases the activity in your frontal cortex, which controls courage
c) It tricks your brain into thinking there’s danger
d) It increases connections between neurons
3. What function does the hippocampus NOT control?
4. How does chronic stress affect your brain’s size?
a) It makes a swell like a balloon
b) It reduces synaptic connections between neurons, causing the brain to shrink
c) It increases synaptic connections, and therefore shrinks
d) It doesn’t, your brain size never changes
5. What are epigenetic changes?
a) Changes to your genetic code, caused by environmental factors
b) Changes in which genes are expressed, caused by disease
c) Changes in which genes are expressed, caused by environmental factors
d) Changes in your genetic code, caused by disease
6. What are some ways to manage stress?
The Creators :
Madhumita Murgia Educator
Andrew Zimbelman Director
Andrea Sertz Jew Producer
Joshua Smoak Composer