<TED Worksheet (Free)>
76. How stress affects your brain
Madhumita Murgia
 
<4:00> November 2015

 

 

Questions
PDF)(Word

Answers
PDF)(Word

Trascript

<Key Vocabulary>
Write the meaning(s) of each word. Write an example sentence (example sentences) if you need.
(1) fluctuate
(2) irritable
(3) moody
(4) overwhelm
(5) isolated
(6) be stressed out
(7) chronic
(8) gene
(9) hypothalamus pituitary adrenal axis (HPA axis)
(10) cortisol
(11) wreak
(12) havoc
(13) amygdala
(14) hippocampus
(15) deteriorate
(16) synaptic
(17) prefrontal cortex
(18) nurture
(19) negligent
(20) epigenetic
(21) swap
(22) meditation

 




<Questions>

  1. According to the speech, which of the following is not the result of being stressed out?
  1. fluctuating blood pressure
  2. sleeping restlessly
  3. forgetting little things
  4. feeling irritable or moody

 

  1. The speaker says that stress isn’t always a bad thing because
  1. it tells you what you really don’t like.
  2. you can grow once you overcome it.
  3. it will help you lose weight.
  4. it can burst your energy and make you focus.

 

  1. The following section describes how chronic stress affects our brain. Fill in the blanks.
  1. Chronic stress, like being overworked or having arguments at home, can affect
    I. brain (1)                    
    II. brain (2)                    
    III. how the brain (3)                    
    right down to the level of your genes.
  2. Stress begins with the hypothalamus pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis, a series of interactions between endocrine glands in the (4)                            and on the (5)                           , which controls your body’s reaction to stress.
  3. When you brain detects a stressful situation,
    • your (6)                            axis is instantly activated and releases a hormone called cortisol, which primes your body for instant action.
    • But high levels of cortisol over long periods of time wreak havoc on your (7)                            .
    • (e.g.)
      1. It will increase the activity level and number of neural connections in the amygdala, your brain’s (8)                            center.
      2. The rise of the cortisol level will deteriorate the electric signals in your hippocampus, which is associated with learning, (9)                           , and stress control.
      3. Cortisol can cause your brain to (10)                           in size.
      4. It leads to fewer new brain cells being made in the hippocampus.
        → Learning and remembering things may become (11)                           for you.
        → It may lead to more serious mental problems, like (12)                           and Alzheimer’s disease.
    • The effects of stress may filter right down to your brain’s (13)                           .
    • [experiment]
    • The amount of nurturing a mother rat provides its newborn baby plays a part in determining how that baby responds to stress later in life.
    • The pups of nurturing moms = (14)                           sensitive to stress
    • The pups of negligent moms = (15)                           sensitive to stress
    • The changes caused by one single mother rat were passed down to many (16)                           of rats after her. (The results of these actions were inheritable.)
  1. List two activities that decrease your stress and increase the size of hippocampus.

(1)                          
(2)                          





<Answers>
  1. According to the speech, which of the following is not the result of being stressed out?
  1. fluctuating blood pressure
  2. sleeping restlessly
  3. forgetting little things
  4. feeling irritable or moody

 

  1. The speaker says that stress isn’t always a bad thing because
  1. it tells you what you really don’t like.
  2. you can grow once you overcome it.
  3. it will help you lose weight.
  4. it can burst your energy and make you focus.

 

  1. The following section describes how chronic stress affects our brain. Fill in the blanks.
  1. Chronic stress, like being overworked or having arguments at home, can affect
    I. brain (1)   size   
    II. brain (2)  structure   
    III. how the brain (3)  functions   
    right down to the level of your genes.
  2. Stress begins with the hypothalamus pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis, a series of interactions between endocrine glands in the (4)   brain    and on the (5)   kidney    , which controls your body’s reaction to stress.
  3. When you brain detects a stressful situation,
    • your (6)   HPA    axis is instantly activated and releases a hormone called cortisol, which primes your body for instant action.
    • But high levels of cortisol over long periods of time wreak havoc on your (7)   brain    .
    • (e.g.)
      1. It will increase the activity level and number of neural connections in the amygdala, your brain’s (8)   fear    center.
      2. The rise of the cortisol level will deteriorate the electric signals in your hippocampus, which is associated with learning, (9)   memories    , and stress control.
      3. Cortisol can cause your brain to (10)   shrink    in size.
      4. It leads to fewer new brain cells being made in the hippocampus.
        → Learning and remembering things may become (11)   harder    for you.
        → It may lead to more serious mental problems, like (12)   depression    and Alzheimer’s disease.
    • The effects of stress may filter right down to your brain’s (13)   DNA    .
    • [experiment]
    • The amount of nurturing a mother rat provides its newborn baby plays a part in determining how that baby responds to stress later in life.
    • The pups of nurturing moms = (14)   less    sensitive to stress
    • The pups of negligent moms = (15)   more    sensitive to stress
    • The changes caused by one single mother rat were passed down to many (16)   generations    of rats after her. (The results of these actions were inheritable.)
  1. List two activities that decrease your stress and increase the size of hippocampus.

(1)    exercise   
(2)    meditation   

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