Lots of friends equals bigger brain

HOW many friends you have on your Facebook account could be an indicator to the size of parts of your brain.

A new study, entitled, Online social network size is reflected in human brain structure, has shown people who have a large number of friends on Facebook tended to larger brain structures in the right superior temporal sulcus, left middle temporal gyrus and entorhinal cortex.

The research was done after an earlier report found the size and complexity of real-world social networks corresponded specifically with some parts of the brain.

However that study did not take into account online social networks.

In an attempt to see if online social networks were linked to the brain in the same way, 125 men were recruited from the University College of London as subjects. After MRI scanning, the number of Facebook friends for each individual was recorded.

Eighty of the participants also had to fill out a questionnaire, which asked questions such as, "If you were to have a party, how many of your Facebook friends would you invite?" and "How many people on your Facebook could you ask a favour from and expect it granted?"

In their findings, researchers discovered the number of social contacts declared publicly on a major social network such as Facebook was strongly associated with the structure of focal regions of the human brain.



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