Planet Earth

The Valley of the Teenagers: My new brain column for Discover

The LoomBy Carl ZimmerMar 25, 2011 8:37 PM

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When you're a teenager, it seems like nobody understands you. And once you're finished being a teenager and get to observe them as an adult, you have to wonder what on Earth is going through their heads. In my new column for Discover, I gingerly step into the teenage mind, exploring what neuroscientists are learning about how their brains work. Teenagers may do things that seem crazy and/or stupid, but that doesn't mean they themselves are crazy or stupid. The teen years turn out to be a unique phase of mental life, when we tally up the rewards and costs of our choices with a kind of math that you won't find in the heads of children or grownups. Check it out.

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