Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Teen Health

Font Size

Teen Brain May Be Wired for Moodiness

Brain Changes Might Make for Cranky Teen Behavior
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Feb. 25, 2008 -- Know a moody teen who can argue with you endlessly? Changes in the teen brain may be egging them on.

New research shows that when teens and parents tackle touchy topics, the teen brain may affect how long and hard the teen argues.

One particular area of the brain -- the amygdala, which is involved in fear and emotions -- stood out.

In the study, 137 Australian adolescents aged 11 to 13 spent 20 minutes talking with their mom or dad about a source of conflict, such as lying or talking back to parents. The researchers videotaped and analyzed the discussions.

The adolescents also got their brains scanned using magnetic resonance imaging. Those brain scans weren't done while the adolescents were talking with their parents.

Among the adolescents, those who spent more time talking aggressively with their parents about conflict tended to have bigger amygdalas. And during those discussions, boys (but not girls) with asymmetries in certain other parts of the brain tended to be more anxious and whiny.

The brain is still maturing during the teen years. But it's not clear whether big amygdalas or brain asymmetries cause teens to argue aggressively, note the researchers. They included psychologist Sarah Whittle, PhD, at Australia's University of Melbourne. Whittle specializes in youth mental health.

The study appears in this week's online early edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Today on WebMD

unhappy teen couple
mini cupcakes
teen couple
girl running with vigor
Sugary drinks
teen wearing toning shoes
young woman texting
teen boy holding a condom
Teen girls eating ice cream
teen sleeping
couple kissing
Taylor Swift