A flood of hormones, sure. But also a host of structural changes in the brain. Can those explain the behaviors that make adolescence so exciting--and so exasperating?
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Five young men in sneakers and jeans troop into a waiting room at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Bethesda, Md., and drape themselves all over the chairs in classic collapsed-teenager mode, trailing backpacks, a CD player and a laptop loaded with computer games. It’s midafternoon, and they are, of course, tired, but even so their presence adds a jangly, hormonal buzz to the bland, institutional setting. Fair-haired twins Corey and Skyler Mann, 16, and their burlier big brothers Anthony and Brandon, 18, who are also twins, plus eldest brother Christopher, 22, are here to have their heads examined.