As any parent can tell you, there's a lot of weirdness that goes on as children make the transition from adolescence to adulthood. Studies now suggest that the adolescent brain undergoes a series of biological and chemical changes as children enter puberty. These changes, not hormones, explain why a usually placid and well-behaved 10-year-old gradually turns into a reckless, moody, jerky teenager. Scientists nicknamed these changes "exuberance."
Exuberance occurs because adolescent brains overproduce neurons, especially in the frontal lobes, the region of the brain where reasoning, impulse control and other activities take place. Scientists say this part of the brain is the last to mature and only fully develops in early adulthood. Scans reveal that the brains of children 10 to 13 undergo a rapid growth spurt, which is quickly followed by a "pruning" of neurons and the organizing of neural pathways. Experts say this is the most turbulent time for brain development since coming out of the womb [sources: PBS, Crawford].
Author's Note: 10 Surprising Ways to Lose Your Mind
We all lose our minds from time to time. Life, it seems, often rattles out of control. Bills, family, relationships: They can all conspire to drive you crazy. So if you seem to be losing your mind, think about what Buddha said: "We are shaped by our thoughts. We become what we think ..."
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- PBS Frontline. "Inside the Teenage Brain." Jan. 31, 2002. (June 1, 2014) http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/teenbrain/etc/synopsis.html
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- TED.com. "Why we love, why we cheat." February 2006. (May 26, 2014) http://www.ted.com/talks/helen_fisher_tells_us_why_we_love_cheat
- Ulene, Valerie. "Rough transition into menopause." Los Angeles Times. Sept. 6, 2010. (May 27, 2014) http://articles.latimes.com/2010/sep/06/health/la-he-the-md-menopause-20100906
- WebMD. "Menopause Health Center." (May 27, 2014) http://www.webmd.com/menopause/guide/menopause-symptoms-types
- WebMD. "Alzheimer's Disease Health Center." (May 26, 2014) http://www.webmd.com/alzheimers/guide/alzheimers-dementia
- Weir, Kirsten. "Alone, in 'the hole.'" American Psychological Association. May 2012. (May 27, 2014). https://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/05/solitary.aspx
- Wolff Perrine, Jennifer. "After cheating death, the real challenge of living begins." NBCNews.com. Jan. 1, 2011. (May 26, 2014) http://www.nbcnews.com/id/40538918/ns/health-womens_health/t/after-cheating-death-real-challenge-living-begins/#.U4xwcvldWSp
- Wyatt, Caroline. "Paris Syndrome strikes Japanese." BBC. Dec. 20, 2006. (May 26, 2014) http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/6197921.stm?lsm
HowStuffWorks looks at the job categories with the highest suicide rates, according to the CDC.