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What sex ed doesn’t tell you about your brain - Shannon Odell


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While we often talk about puberty’s effect on the body, what gets overlooked are the fascinating changes that happen in the brain. Puberty, in fact, begins in the brain, and lasts as long as five years. And during this extended process, the brain undergoes its own transformation, thanks to estrogen and testosterone. Shannon Odell details what we know— and still don’t know— about puberty.

Additional Resources for you to Explore

Adolescence can be a strange and often tumultuous part of life, transforming us intellectually, physically, hormonally, and socially. If you’re still curious about some of the science behind the adolescent brain and its connection to puberty, head to this article. Khan Academy has a clear and succinct explainer video about brain changes during adolescence. Want to dig even deeper into the technicalities? Check out Maturation of the Adolescent Brain, published by the National Library of Medicine. 

Hormones are important messages both within the brain and between the brain and the body. For a deep dive into all the different types of hormones and their functions, check out this link or this TED-Ed video about how your hormones work.  

Surprisingly, the teenage brain actually has an evolutionary advantage compared to that of the adult brain. Check it out and let us know what you think.

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About TED-Ed Animations

TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Shannon Odell
  • Director Biljana Labović
  • Narrator Alexandra Panzer, Adrian Dannatt
  • Storyboard Artist Wing Luo
  • Animation Supervisor Amarello Rodrigues
  • Lead Animator Murilo Jardim, Marina Veremeienko
  • Art Director Nuri Keli, Vitalii Nebelskyi
  • Illustrator Marina Veremeienko
  • Sound Designer Weston Fonger
  • Composer Weston Fonger
  • Director of Production Gerta Xhelo
  • Producer Alexandra Zubak
  • Associate Producer Abdallah Ewis
  • Editorial Director Alex Rosenthal
  • Editorial Producer Shannon Odell
  • Science Consultant Jane Mendle , Cheryl L. Sisk

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