Everyone, I have some bad news. Facebook has likely changed the way your brain works. You feel that dopamine rush – the lovely chemical that shoots in when you’re rewarded – when a notification jumps up. Those with more than 229 friends are likely to have larger orbital prefontal cortexes, the area responsible for emotion and social behaviour. The infographic from Best Master’s in Psychology (below) illustrates Facebook’s effect on the brain.
But guess what? There are some serious drawbacks to being a Facebook addict.
The Best Master’s in Psychology team has found that brain areas for Internet addicts are 10 to 20% smaller for major functions such as sensory, motor control, speech, emotion, memory, and other information. The conclusion is that the more time spent online is directly related to the brain atrophying in these areas.
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