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New study shows how teen brains mature (or don't)

American researchers found that logical thinking and problem solving skills improve as teens move into adulthood.

Brain sliceEnlarge
A new study shows how teenage brains mature as synapses are torn away. (Wikipedia/Wikimedia commons)

A new study has shown how teenage brains mature.

Researchers at UC Davis Sleep Laboratory found that logical thinking and problem solving skills improve as teens move into adulthood.

This happens when the brain severs connections, known as synapses, with neurons.

Medical Daily said that this is a cutting away of unused pathways to make thinking quicker.

The study used EEG, or electroencephalogram, to monitor brain patterns of 28 children between six and 10 for two nights every six months, reported Futurity.

They looked at the brains of young people while they slept and found that the synaptic density peaked at eight years old and then began to decline.

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The greatest decline occurs between 12 and 16.5 years.

"Discovering that such extensive neuronal remodeling occurs within this 4-1/2 year timeframe during late adolescence and the early teen years confirms our view that the sleep EEG indexes a crucial aspect of the timing of brain development," said study author Irwin Feinberg, director of the UC Davis Sleep Laboratory, said Medical Daily.

"Our outcome confirms that the brain goes through a remarkable amount of reorganization during puberty that is necessary for complex thinking."

The findings were published in the American Journal of Physiology: Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/science/130319/new-study-shows-how-teen-brains-mature-or-dont