It’s been said that there’s nothing wrong with today’s teen-ager that 20 years won’t cure. New evidence from the field of neurology — the science of the brain — is showing that adage is truer than we may have thought.
While 95 percent of the brain is structured by the time a child is 5 or 6, Dr. Jay Giedd of the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Md., has found that a crucial part of the brain called the prefrontal cortex starts growing again right before puberty.
Giedd’s work was explored in a PBS “Frontline” special, “Inside the Teen-age Brain,” and a companion Web site (http://www. pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/teenbrain/) offers some fascinating insight into how teen-agers’ changing brains affect their lives.
Along with interviews with Giedd and other brain experts, you’ll find lots of interactive goodies, including a virtual map of the teen brain that highlights the parts that experience dramatic change just before puberty.
You’ll also find out why many teens have trouble getting to sleep at night and why teens’ emotional reactions often differ from those of adults.
Teens are often a mystery to their parents, sometimes they’re a mystery to themselves as well. Check out the clues to solving that mystery at this cool Web site.
© 2002, McClatchy/Tribune Information Services