To their parents, teenagers may seem like the laziest, most foolish, and most self-centered beings on the planet, but according to one prominent UK cognitive neuroscience professor, adults shouldn't hold such behaviors against them - that's just how their brains are wired.
Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, a professor at University College London and the deputy director of the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, recently told The Telegraph
that when adolescents tell their elders that, "nobody understands them," they might be right, neurologically speaking.
Over the past decade, Blakemore and her colleagues have been analyzing the development of the brain before and during the teenage years.
Among their findings are changes to grey matter in the prefrontal cortex responsible for some of the drastic changes in attitude during this time of life.
Blakemore and the researchers working in her lab have regularly been reporting new discoveries of observable, measurable changes in the structure and function of adolescent brains, the British newspaper said. Not only is she working to learn how the mind of a teenager works, she wants to use that information to change education policy to better maximize their learning potential.
"We work with many schools all over London for research purposes, and I hope that in the next 20 years or so we will be applying more evidence-based science in education because at the moment there is not much," she told the Telegraph
on Saturday. "We know a lot about how the teenage brain learns and how it develops but it hasn't filtered through yet."