If your teenage son does not respond to your nagging, this could be because his brain cannot help but switch itself off when you begin lecturing him, a study suggests.
While listening to parents' criticism, the brains of teenagers show more activity in areas involved in negative emotions and reduced activity in regions involved in emotional control and in taking other people's point of view, the results of the study found.
The study involved 32 healthy participants, including 22 girls - the average age being 14.
The adolescents lay in the brain imaging scanner as they listened to two 30-second clips of their own mothers criticising them, wired.com reported.
"Youth shut down social processing (and) possibly do not think about their parents' mental states," the researchers were quoted as saying.
The team, led by Kyung Hwa Lee from the University of Pittsburgh in the US, noted that the findings could lead to better parenting.
"Parents may benefit from understanding that when they criticise their adolescents, adolescents may experience strong negative emotional reaction, may have difficulty cognitively controlling this emotion and may also find it challenging to understand the parent's perspective or mental state," they added.