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What’s the smartest age? - Shannon Odell

  • 658,261 Views
  • 2,390 Questions Answered
  • TEDEd Animation

Let’s Begin…

Tomorrow is the annual Brain Clash — a decathlon of mental challenges, trivia competitions, and puzzles. Amir needs a smart and capable teammate and must choose between three people; all of different ages and talents. So, who should Amir choose for the contest? Shannon Odell breaks down the idea of “smart” and explores how our brain development impacts our skills at various stages of our lives.

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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 Labovic
  • Narrator Alexandra Panzer, Jack Cutmore-Scott
  • Storyboard Artist Wing Luo
  • Art Director Nuri Keli, KERO Animation studio
  • Animation Supervisor Amarello Rodrigues
  • Lead Animator Murilo Jardim, KERO Animation studio
  • 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
Additional Resources for you to Explore
For a long time, people believed that intelligence was fixed and unchangeable. Increasing research has shown that the brain is malleable and plastic, constantly changing as it ages and exposed to different environments. One of the most transformative things you can do for your brain is exercise.

The Baby’s Brain

For a fascinating look inside a baby’s brain when they are playing and exploring, head over to Alisons Gopnik’s TEDTalk, “What Do Babies Think?” Her research explores the sophisticated intelligence-gathering and decision-making that babies are really doing when they play.

The Adolescent and Teenage Brain

Discover what the latest research into the adolescent brain reveals about how teens learn and interact with their environment in “Teenage Brains: Wired to Learn,” a video made by Columbia University’s Zuckerman Institute.

The Adult Brain

Want to know about how and why learning a new skill can actually slow down cognitive decline and aging? Check out this article published by Harvard University’s Medical School.

Customize this lesson

Create and share a new lesson based on this one.

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 Labovic
  • Narrator Alexandra Panzer, Jack Cutmore-Scott
  • Storyboard Artist Wing Luo
  • Art Director Nuri Keli, KERO Animation studio
  • Animation Supervisor Amarello Rodrigues
  • Lead Animator Murilo Jardim, KERO Animation studio
  • 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

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