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Health Tip: Understanding the Teenage Brain

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(HealthDay News) -- The brain is the most complex organ in the body. It's the center of learning, and is responsible for processing sensory information and directing the body's responses.

The teen brain is still maturing, though it's more resilient, the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health says.

The agency offers these additional facts about the young brain:

  • In females, the brain reaches its full size at about age 11, while the male brain stops growing at about age 14.
  • While the brain may not grow beyond the early teen years, it keeps maturing until the mid- to late-20s.
  • The front part of the brain, called the prefrontal cortex, is one of the last regions to mature. It's responsible for planning, prioritizing and controlling impulses.
  • The maturing brain's changes may help explain why some mental disorders don't emerge until adolescence.

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