The number of Facebook friends you have is correlated to the size of your amygdala, the center used to process the memory of your emotional reactions in your brain, according to a new study published in Nature Neuroscience. The volume of your amydala has been connected to the size of the circle of those you come in contact with even with nonhuman primate species before, so Kevin Bickart and his coauthors took the idea and tested it out on people who interact with people on Facebook.
Using 58 adults with varying sizes of Facebook friends, the scientists figured out how many people each individual involved in the study regularly interacted with. Then, they determined how many different groups of Facebook friends the person was in contacted with. Those two data points were compared to the volume of the amygdala and hippocampus, the later of which should not change in size depending on the size of the social network. The results showed that the size of a person’s amygdala increased with more friends and more complex social networks. So much for saying that people you interact with on Facebook aren’t really your friends. And, even if we might not know them personally, our brains are definitely making an emotional connection.
See more on the study from our friends over at Healthland.
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