The Mysterious Workings of the Adolescent Brain

By Cameron Crane

Let’s face it—when we look back on our adolescent years, most of us end up asking ourselves: what was I thinking? I, for one, cannot understand what possessed me to wear a dog collar around my neck for most of my freshman year of college. What was I thinking? And the truth is, that’s a pretty good question.

The adolescent brain can be difficult to understand because of its unique state of development. Luckily, there are experts who are working hard to help us crack the code and unlock the mysteries of what actually make teenagers act, well, so teenager-y.    

So, why do teenagers seem so much more impulsive? So much less self-aware than grown ups? In this TED Talk, cognitive neuroscientist Sarah-Jayne Blakemore compares the prefrontal cortex in adolescents to that of adults to show us how typical “teenage” behavior is caused by the growing and developing brain.

2 thoughts on “The Mysterious Workings of the Adolescent Brain

  1. Very interesting! It’s probably only part of the picture though, as clearly upbringing and environment have a lot to do with just how “teenager-y” a teenager acts. I know that my own teens don’t act at all in the way the most people associate with teenagers, and it isn’t because of their brain development, I don’t think!

  2. I am SO often perplexed about the adolescent brain and WHY it does the things it does. Blakemore makes some relevant points especially that the dramatic development of the prefrontal cortex and how it affects cognitive functions — this is what I want to share and re-share with parents of teens.

    I just might love Ms. Blakemore.

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