Teenagers Develop Specialized Brain Cells for Flirting


Photo: Africa Rising/Shutterstock

As if developing secondary sexual characteristics ain't bad enough already, researchers from Michigan State University discovered that the teen brain may be developing brain cells that specialize in flirting:

Examining the brains, the researchers found new cells made during puberty had been added to the amygdala - the part of the brain which influences communication - and other similar areas. Some of the newly formed cells contained a protein linked to social and sexual behaviour.

Lead author Maggie Mohr, a doctoral student in neuroscience, said: "The amygdala plays an important role in helping the brain make sense of social cues. In humans, the amygdala evaluates facial expressions and body language.

"These regions are important for social behaviours, particularly mating behaviour, so, we thought maybe cells that are added to those parts of the brain during puberty could be important for adult reproductive function."

The study was done in hamsters, but that's not much different than human teenagers from what we can tell: Link


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