ANN ARBOR (WWJ) – What in the world were they thinking?

A new research project at the University of Michigan is looking for just that answer — and they are putting out the call for a few good tweens; to study their brains that is.

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Sometimes it’s tough for parents to figure out what a tween or teen is thinking reports WWJ’s health reporter Dr. Deanna Lites, and difficult to understand why they make the choices they do?

Researchers hope to gain more insight into the developing brain by recruiting 10,000 — nine and 10-year-olds as part of a 10-year national study.

Information will be gathered through interviews and MRI imaging.

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“So we’ll be following them through adolescents,” says University of Michigan researcher Dr. Mary Heitzeg. “As all these sort of challenges and opportunities that are occurring during this period; and these are really important in shaping an adult’s identity and their health and their well being.”

The University of Michigan is one of 19 study sites.

Dr. Heitzeg says they plan to reach out to schools in the area in hopes of recruiting about 500 tweens and their parents.

Parents who are interested in learning more about the ABCD study can visit this link.

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Michigan school officials and parent-teacher organization leaders who wish to learn more can call 877-615-3149 or email ABCDschools@umich.edu . The study has been endorsed by the AASA, The School Superintendents Association.