Why are teenagers so lousy at chores? Is it laziness ... or biology? Monica Luciana of University of Minnesota and colleagues have the scientific answer:
Blame it on "cognitive limitations." [Teenagers'] brains can't multitask as well as those of the taskmasters. [...]
The part of the brain responsible for multitasking continues to develop until late adolescence, with cells making connections even after some children are old enough to drive, according to a new study in the May/June issue of the journal Child Development.
The frontal cortex, which starts just behind the eyes and goes back almost to the ears, figures out (or doesn't) what to do when a person is asked to juggle multiple pieces of information. Imagine, then, how "make your bed and bring the laundry down" might befuddle a 13-year-old.