The adolescent's experiences — from reading vampire novels to navigating online social relationships to learning to drive — shape this new grey matter, mostly following a "use it or lose it" strategy, Johnson said.The structural reorganization is thought to continue until the age of 25, and smaller changes continue throughout life.Friends also provide teens with opportunities to learn skills such as negotiating, compromise and group planning.
They are dramatic, irrational and scream for seemingly no reason. And they have a deep need for both greater independence and tender loving care. And here's why: After infancy, the brain's most dramatic growth spurt occurs in adolescence, and that growth means things get a little muddled in a teen mind. Editor’s Note: This article, originally published in 2011, was updated in March 2016 to reflect recent research and new information.
Teen brains are also wired to seek reward, act out, and otherwise exhibit immaturity that will change when they become adults. Loosely defined as the years between 11 and 19, adolescence is considered a critical time of development – and not just in outward appearances."The brain continues to change throughout life, but there are huge leaps in development during adolescence," said Sara Johnson, an assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health who reviewed the neuroscience in The Teen Years Explained: A Guide to Healthy Adolescent Development (Johns Hopkins University, 2009) by Clea Mc Neely and Jayne Blanchard.
Research on the different rates of brain function development during adolescence was published in the journal Developmental Review in 2008. According to Feinstein, a survey of teenagers revealed that 84 percent think highly of their mothers and 89 percent think highly of their fathers.
And more than three-quarters of teenagers enjoy spending time with their parents; 79 percent enjoy hanging out with Mom and 76 percent like chilling with Dad. It is a myth that teens need less sleep than young children.
They need their parents — those people with the more stable adult brain — to help them by staying calm, listening and being good role models, Feinstein told Live Science.