Is activated the same brain circuits that are activated by eating chocolate and win money when teenagers see large numbers of "likes" on their own photos or images from their counterparts in the social network, according to a study of the University of California is the first of its kind that the brains of teenagers surveyed "during use social media.
33 were told to adolescents, aged 13-18, who were participating in similar small social network application to exchange pictures and popular Instagram. In an experiment in mapping the brain center Ahmanson- Lovelace at the University of California, researchers are including 40 image showed 148 images on a computer screen for 15 minutes, that every teenager feet, and analyzing brain activity using functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI. Display each image are also a number of times as it was supposed to have received from the participants in the teen others - in fact, has been appointed a number of likes by the researchers. (At the end of the procedure, the participants were told that the researchers decided on the number of received image).
"When I saw the teenagers their own photos with a large number of like, we saw activity across a wide range of areas in the brain," said lead shahista, a researcher in mapping the brain center and a branch of digital UCLA Children's Media Center, Los Angeles.
She said the area that was especially active is part of a scheme called the nucleus accumbens, which is part of the reward circuitry in the brain. It is believed that these reward circuits to be particularly sensitive during adolescence. When he saw the teens their pictures with a large number of likes, researchers also observed activation in areas known as the brain regions associated with visual attention to the social.
In deciding whether to acknowledge that he loved the image, and adolescents are affected to a large extent by the number of likes the picture.
"We showed exactly the same image with lots of likes for half of the adolescents and the other half with a handful of like," said Sherman. "When I saw the picture with more likes, and they were significantly more likely to like it themselves. Teens react differently when they see the information has been passed by more or less than their peers, even if these are the peers of strangers."
The study was published today in the Journal of Psychology.
Said Maria, science professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral at the Sem Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at the University of California in real life and adolescents, and the impact of their friends is likely to be more dramatic.
"In this study, this group of virtual strangers, and they have been, but they are still responding to peer influence. He Dilshad, senior author of the study" demonstrated their willingness to conform to both the brain and in the level of what he chose to love. "We should expect that the effect is amplified in real life, when they are looking at the likes of teenagers by the people who are important to them."
It must have parents concerned about social media? The researchers said much like other media, social media, and the positive and negative features of both.
Many teens and young adults befriend people online who they do not know well, and parents are right to worry. "That opens up the possibility of a child is influenced more by people who may be more risk-taking behavior of your child or your child's friends immediately.
"Parents used to know the friends of their children, but when they have several hundred friends, there can not be for parents the way they know who they are," said Patricia Greenfield, director of the children at the University of California Digital Media Center, Los Angeles and other senior author of the study.
But Sherman refers to the possible benefit of social networks. "If your teen's friends are displayed positive behavior, then it's great that your teen will see that the behavior of and affected by it," she said. "It's important for parents to be aware of which reacts teen with the Internet and those friends and acquaintances posting and liking. In addition, self-identity is influenced teen by the opinions of others, as previous studies have shown. Available data seems to have certainly reflects that too ".