TED Conversations

Kate Torgovnick May

writer, TED


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What were you like as a teenager?

At TEDGlobal 2012 Sarah-Jayne Blakemore explained her research, which shows that the human brain doesn't stop developing in childhood — but continues changing throughout adolescence. In other words: the teenage brain is actually different from the adult brain. In your teens, the prefrontal cortex — the area of the brain involved in decision-making, planning, social interaction and self-awareness — is still developing, making teens more prone to both risk-taking and embarrassment.

This research certainly makes my teenage years make a lot more sense. And it got me thinking — what were YOU like as a teenager? How did you dress, what did you listen to, and how did you relate to adults? What's a decision you made then that you would never make now?

Answer here, and you may well see your answer on the TED Blog on Monday.

And read more about Blakemore's work here:



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  • Sep 15 2012: The world was just opening up to me. I was a nerd, athlete and thought teachers were the greatest people. IQ test revealed 168 in the 9th grade hid it and just tried to fit in with (what I thought) was the cool group. Overall High School was great. Now I like to take walks and have talks with my kids to find out who they are and where their at in their thoughts on social issues.

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