Brain link to yobbish behaviour in teenagers

London: Bad behaviour in teenagers seems to have a biological basis, for a study has found that it is actually linked to the stunted growth of the "caring-sharing" areas of their brains.

Researchers at Cambridge University 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 suffer 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 who began to display anti-social behaviour in their adolescence. They were compared with a group of 27 "normal" teenagers from similar backgrounds.

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

The two areas were the amygdala and insula, which contribute to emotional perception, empathy, and the ability to recognise when others are in distress, say the researchers.