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Monday, December 27, 2010

A Facebook feature in the brain 'rules your social network'

LONDON: Strange it may appear, but a Facebook-like feature in your brain rules your social network, say researchers.

A new study has found that amygdala, a small almond- shaped structure, deep in the temporal lobe governs the number of friends one is likely to make -- the larger the amygdala, the wider and more complex is its owner's network of pals.

For the study, the researchers asked volunteers aged between 19 to 83 to complete questionnaires which measured how many regular social contacts they had and in how many groups.

Magnetic resonance imaging scans found a positive link between big amygdalas and the richest social lives, the 'Daily Mail' reported.

Lead researcher Professor Lisa Barrett, a psychologist at Northeastern University in Boston , Massachusetts, said that the findings were consistent with "social brain" theory, which suggests human amygdala evolved to deal with an increasingly complex social world.

Other studies of primates have shown that those living in larger groups tend to have larger amygdalas.

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