Facebook Friend Count Linked to the Size of a Certain Body Part? (study)

Written By Kaisa Kokkonen Published December 28th, 2010

Humans are inherently social animals. We play, work, eat and fight with one another.

Step 1: If a Northwestern University study published on Dec 26 2010 is correct, the number of Facebook friends you have might be due to the size of a small part of your brain.

It’s all in the size of your amygdalae, small almond-shaped portions of the brain nestled within the temporal lobe, claim the scientists who conducted this study using 58 participants. The conclusion was that the amygdala’s size can predict just how social anyone will be, regardless of age or gender. A larger amygdala might enable us to more effectively identify, learn about and recognize socioemotional cues in conspecifics, allowing us to develop complex strategies to cooperate and compete – “social brain hypothesis” .

The leader of the study, Lisa Feldman Barrett, PhD, a professor at Northwestern University says, “We considered a single primate species, humans, and found that the amygdala volume positively correlated with the size and complexity of social networks in adult humans.”

Some of us are more social than others..nothing new about that. Right?

So what does this mean?? Does it mean that all your extensive Facebooking and Twittering causes your brain to evolve further? The correlation does not necessarily mean causation. I read another study not that long ago which showed we’re only capable of handling 150 Facebook friends anyway. That is especially if you actually have a job that does not allow you to spend your time at Facebook and Twitter.

Step 2: If you are interested in the scientific results of the study: http://www.nature.com/neuro/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nn.2724.html


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