Tuesday, June 14, 2016

News U Can Use: "How Social Media Affects the Teenage Brain"

"A new UCLA study used brain scans to show what really activated teenagers' "reward" center in their brains, the same part that's activated when something good happens, like winning the lottery.

It turns out, it's those sweet, sweet "likes" on social media.Teenagers feel rewarded when their social media posts are liked, and it doesn't even matter who does the liking, as long as they like it.

Researchers told a group of 32 teenagers ages 13 to 18 at UCLA's Ahmanson-Lovelace Brain Mapping Center that they were there to try out a new social media app similar to Instagram — a clever lie. Because what the researchers really wanted to know was how their nucleus accumbens (basically the primary part of the brain's reward system) would react to social media validation. The teens viewed 148 photos, 40 of which were their own, while hooked up to equipment measuring their functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI. Each of these photos were shown with a number of "likes." The more "likes" the teen's photo had, the more their reward centers showed activity..."