They are dramatic, irrational, and scream for seemingly no reason—and they have a deep need for both greater independence and tender loving care. There’s a reason this description could be used for either teens or toddlers, LiveScience reports: After infancy, the brain’s most dramatic growth spurt occurs in adolescence. “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 McNeely and Jayne Blanchard. And though it might seem impossible to get inside the head of an adolescent, scientists have probed this teen tangle of neurons. Here are five things they’ve learned about the mysterious teen brain.

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