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Nature of Things - Surviving the Teenage Brain (2014)

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Throw away all of your preconceived ideas about the behaviour and nature of teenagers. New research suggests that without our turbulent teen years the human race would be, as Dr. David Bainbridge puts it in Surviving:) The Teenage Brain, "short lived and stupid."

In the past, when we put the words selfish, reckless, irrational, irritable and impossible together we could only be describing one thing: the teenager – that odd creature that invades our homes for what seems like an eternity and tests the limits of our reasoning skills and patience.

But what if teenagers are doing exactly as nature intended? Surviving:) The Teenage Brain looks at this critical developmental stage from a scientific and evolutionary point of view. The film combines cutting edge scientific research with YouTube clips of outrageous teen behaviour and a graphic novel approach to challenge conventional thinking about the adolescent years. It illustrates that our teens are doing precisely what they should be doing to finesse the development of their brains and ensure the survival of the human species.

This intriguing documentary features the knowledge and research of international scientists and experts like National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) neurologist Dr. Jay Giedd, who is one of the world's foremost experts on adolescent brain development; Cambridge evolutionary biologist Dr. David Bainbridge, author of Teenagers: A Natural History; adolescent mental health expert Dr. Stan Kutcher; biological anthropologist Dr. Helen Fisher and innovation and technology expert Don Tapscott (author of Grown Up Digital: How the Net Generation is Changing the World).

Together, these experts present surprising new research that explains the peculiarities and immense power and potential of the teen brain. This new perspective could change the way we school, parent and motivate these transitional Homo sapiens. It might even make them easier to live with : - )

A brain doctor at one point said that 25 years ago everyone thought the brain stopped forming around 15-16 years of age. Now they know it takes 25 years on average. I could have told them that from personal experience of what me and my friends went through.

It also says that the most important trait for children up to about 11 is curiosity - exactly the trait that schools try to stifle. Watching stuff like this makes me think that the people who founded the "modern" school system knew exactly what they were doing when they designed it to replace natural curiosity with blind obedience to authority.