A new study from the University College of London has found a direct correlation between the grey matter in peoples’ brains and the amount of Facebook friends they have.
The results do little more than prove the link exists however, as it remains uncertain whether online social networking plays a role in re-structuring those regions of the brain or whether those with a large amount of online friends are naturally born with more grey matter.
The study was conducted utilizing MRI brain scans on 165 volunteers who offered up their friend count on Facebook. Their findings seek to answer the question of whether social media is developing our brains in a new way, affecting the way we interact with the world.
Prof. Robin Dunbar of the University of Oxford has previously proposed a theoretical concept called “Dunbar’s number” which suggests that the volume of a person’s neocortex, the region of the brain responsible for language, thought and determining social group size, gives them the ability to maintain a limited amount of stable reality-based relationships. The human average is around 150.
[via The Guardian]