Child of Our Time doc reveals why teens have more creative brains and grey matter than adults

Lucia Binding
child of our time

Child of Our Time premieres on BBC1 this evening (3 April) for the first episode of the two-part documentary, but the series actually began back in 2000.

17 years ago, the BBC and the Open University made the decision to track the lives of 25 new-born children for the first two decades of their lives.

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The long-running series saw viewers meet the infants several times a year, but by 2010 the documentary had become less frequent, maybe due to the fact that the children weren't small and cute any more. The BBC since claimed that they wanted to leave the youngsters alone.

Child of Our Time was last on screen with two episodes in 2013, but it has been four years since we last found out what happened to Megan, Matthew, Jamie, Rebecca and Calvin. We can confirm they've done a lot of growing up...

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Now, at 16, Robert Winston and Tanya Byron discover how the teenagers' changing brains means that what they decide to do at this age can shape their futures.

Viewers will learn some interesting findings, including that the teenage brain is more creative than at any other time in our lives and has more grey matter. We'll also discover that the pleasure centre of the brain is more active too – which explains the teenage zest for thrills, which becomes obvious in Matt, who was once a very timid child. Some clips include Matt paragliding, white water rafting and crowd-surfing at a party to demonstrate the amazing transformation.

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The point of the show is to use neuroscience and biology over the past 17 years to investigate what exactly is going on inside teenagers' brains, and, arguably more interestingly, to see how those adorable millennial babies turned out.

Child of Our Time airs on Monday 3rd April and Tuesday 4th April on BBC1 at 9pm.

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