Mental ability of teenagers can change dramatically

October 20, 2011 2:17:49 PM PDT
If your teenager seems to be lacking when it comes to smarts, don't write them off just yet.

According to new research, the mental ability of teenagers can change dramatically.

Until now, the assumption has been that intellectual capacity -- measured by IQ -- stays static during life. But tests conducted on teens at an average age of 14, and then repeated when they were 18, found improvements and deterioration.

The findings involving 19 boys and 14 girls are published in the journal Nature.

Researchers say the results could be encouraging to those whose intellectual potential may improve. And they may also serve as a warning that early achievers may not maintain their potential.