Research suggests Facebook can change brain structure
Recent research suggests that the amount of grey matter in particular regions of the human brain could be correlated to good social skills and our ability to make friends.
In the technology age Facebook friends are collected like trading cards and the acquisition of these friends is considered vital for online interaction.
But could our number of online friends be connected to the size of certain areas of our brains?
Grey matter is brain tissue which hosts mental processing, making it a major component to a properly functioning mind.
The regions involved, including the amygdala, control social interaction, memory skills and autism.
The research, taken from the journal ‘Proceedings of the Royal Society B Biological Sciences’, took 3D brain scans of 125 London University students.
The subjects’ amount of Facebook friends were counted, as well as their number of ‘real-world’ friends.
To calculate an estimate of social networking size, the students were asked such questions as, ‘how many friends are in your phonebook?’ and, ‘how many people would you invite to a party?’.
The relatively new area of study in ‘internet psychology’ has interested scientists who are keen to observe how new technologies are affecting the evolution of our brains, as well as the way we interact with each other.
Dr Ryota Kanai, one of the researchers from University College London, said: “The exciting question now is whether these structures change over time.
This will help us answer the question of whether the internet is changing our brains.”