Have you ever wondered if someone you know is addicted to social media? Well, they might be. More and more experts are letting people know that Internet addiction is a real thing. In fact, just last week we shared a quiz that can help you see if it's a problem. Click here to take our quiz now, if you haven't.
Now, researchers from the University of California have a bit more to add to the conversation about our obsession with the Internet. Particularly, our obsession with getting more "Likes" on Facebook, and other social media sites like Instagram.
During a recent study, researchers scanned the brains of teenagers while they were using social media. The study was conducted on teens between the ages of 13 and 18, who were given a series of photographs to look at. There were 148 images total.
An MRI machine was used to capture images of the teens' brain activity while they were looking through the photos, and something quite interesting stood out. When these teens saw images of themselves that other teens from the group had supposedly "Liked", activity was seen in many regions throughout the brain.
One region that stood out as being particularly active was the nucleus accumbens, which is believed to be associated with the way we interpret rewards. Other areas of the brain that seemed to be stimulated were areas that are closely tied to visual attention and recognition.
What do you think? Is this a problem for the next generation? Press play to listen to our podcast.
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