The biggest myths of the teenage brain

David Robson in BBC:

Terri Apter, a psychologist, still remembers the time she explained to an 18-year-old how the teenage brain works: “So that’s why I feel like my head’s exploding!” the teen replied, with pleasure. Parents and teachers of teens may recognise that sensation of dealing with a highly combustible mind. The teenage years can feel like a shocking transformation – a turning inside out of the mind and soul that renders the person unrecognisable from the child they once were. There’s the hard-to-control mood swings, identity crises and the hunger for social approval, a newfound taste for risk and adventure, and a seemingly complete inability to think about the future repercussions of their actions.

In the midst of this confusion, adolescents are consistently assessed for their academic potential – with ramifications that can last a lifetime. No one’s fate is sealed at 18 – but an impeccable school record will certainly make it far easier to find a place at a prestigious university, which will in turn widen your options for employment. Yet the emotional rollercoaster of those years can make it extremely difficult for teens to reach their intellectual potential.

More here.