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  • [Woman] Social media has become part of our nature.

  • We post, we share, we like,

  • we follow, we unfollow, we subscribe.

  • But how is social media affecting us?

  • A small study of 20 college students found

  • a correlation between students who demonstrated higher levels of Facebook addiction

  • in activity of the amygdala striatal system while they interacted with Facebook signals.

  • This activation was the same scene in those with substance addiction.

  • In a 2016 UCLA study, teens were split into two groups.

  • One were shown a photo with a high number of likes,

  • and the other group was shown the same photo but with fewer likes.

  • Those who viewed the photo with more likes,

  • were more likely to like the photo themselves than the group who saw the photo with fewer likes.

  • Again, it was the same picture.

  • This experiment found activity in multiple parts of the brain when teens saw photos they took receive a lot of likes.

  • In particular, this study found significant activity in part of the brain's reward circuitry

  • known as the nucleus accumbens.

  • Dopamine is released in the brain after positive social stimuli,

  • such as likes and positive comments on social media.

  • That photo she just posted, she got a bunch of likes,

  • releasing dopamine into her brain

  • and causing a feeling of satisfaction.

  • (loud applause)

  • (loud upbeat music)

  • Psychologist B.F. Skinner found that

  • mice would respond to certain stimuli they knew resulted in a reward more often when the reward came at variable times.

  • This theory can also be applied to social media,

  • and the times we check it looking for a reward in terms of a like, comment, or message.

  • We habitually check our accounts,

  • but we are not always rewarded.

  • Maybe this photo didn't get the amount of likes you wanted.

  • So you will try again and again and again,

  • looking for that reward.

  • But wait, something else.

  • Have you ever felt your phone vibrate when it really didn't?

  • According to Robert Rosenberger of the Georgia Institute of Technology,

  • we've become so connected to our phones that they've sort of become part of our bodies.

  • Any time something stimulates and triggers sensation in any area where you keep your phone,

  • you might believe it's your phone.

  • This is called phantom vibration syndrome.

  • Studies show that nearly 90% of people report experiencing these phantom vibrations.

  • (machine hums)

  • (playful instrumental music)

[Woman] Social media has become part of our nature.

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B1 US BuzzFeed photo reward social brain activity

How Social Media Affects Your Brain

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    April Lu posted on 2018/09/17
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