London: The reason behind teenagers’ 'yobbish behaviour’ is no longer a secret. A study found that an underdeveloped brain area "caring-sharing" is responsible for this.

Cambridge University researchers have found that yobs and hoodies have smaller regions of the brain that deal with emotions and the ability to feel the pain of others, a key finding which could lead to possible new treatments.

The study attempted to explain why five per cent of school age children undergo from Conduct Disorder (CD),a recognised psychiatric condition characterised by aggressive and anti-social traits.

The researchers looked at 63 boys with an average age of 18 with CD, some of whom developed problems at an early age and some began to display anti-social behaviour in their adolescence.

Brain scans showed that two regions were significantly smaller in affected teenagers including those who only became badly behaved when they reached adolescence, a British newspaper reported.

The two areas were the amygdala and insula, which contribute to emotional perception, empathy, and the ability to recognise when others are in stress.
 
Professor Ian Goodyer, one of the researchers, said, "We hope that our study results will contribute to existing psychosocial strategies for detecting children at high risk of developing anti-social behaviour."

He stressed that the study had not demonstrated a foolproof "test" and only provided a springboard for further more extensive research.

Dr Andy Calder from the Medical Research Council's Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit said, "Only when we are confident that we understand why the disorder develops can we apply this knowledge to the further development and evaluation of treatments."


(Agencies)