...variability in the size of such online friendship networks was significantly correlated...to articulate and make visible their friendship networks, and it is apparent that there...individual defined by more intimate friendships. However, the grey matter density at...
Online social network size is reflected in human brain structure
+ Author Affiliations
- 1UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, 17 Queen Square, London WC1N 3AR, UK
- 2Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, University College London, 12 Queen Square, London WC1N 3BG, UK
- 3Interacting Minds Project, Institute of Anthropology, Archaeology, Linguistics, Aarhus University, Norrebrogade 44, Building 10 G, 8000 Aarhus, Denmark
- 4Centre of Functionally Integrative Neuroscience, Aarhus University Hospital, Norrebrogade 44, Building 10 G, 8000 Aarhus, Denmark
- 5Institute of Cancer, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Charterhouse Square, London EC1M 6BQ, UK
The increasing ubiquity of web-based social networking services is a striking feature of modern human society. The degree to which individuals participate in these networks varies substantially for reasons that are unclear. Here, we show a biological basis for such variability by demonstrating that quantitative variation in the number of friends an individual declares on a web-based social networking service reliably predicted grey matter density in the right superior temporal sulcus, left middle temporal gyrus and entorhinal cortex. Such regions have been previously implicated in social perception and associative memory, respectively. We further show that variability in the size of such online friendship networks was significantly correlated with the size of more intimate real-world social groups. However, the brain regions we identified were specifically associated with online social network size, whereas the grey matter density of the amygdala was correlated both with online and real-world social network sizes. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that the size of an individual's online social network is closely linked to focal brain structure implicated in social cognition.
- social networks
- brain structure
- individual differences
- superior temporal sulcus
- middle temporal gyrus
- Received September 20, 2011.
- Accepted September 30, 2011.
- This journal is © 2011 The Royal Society
This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
《英對照讀新聞》Brain Size Tells How Many Friends a Person Has 腦的大小透露一個人有多少朋友
The larger your brain size is, the more the number of friends you have：this is what is being said by a team of researchers from the University of Oxford.
Keeping up friendships takes brain power, research found, and people with real friends - as opposed to pals on social network sites - have to employ more cognitive skills to understand what someone is thinking.
Researchers have found a link between the number of friends people have and the size of their orbital prefrontal cortex. Tests were conducted on 40 people, with scientists taking anatomical MR images of their brains to measure the size of their prefrontal cortex, which is used for high-level thinking.
Participants were asked to make a list of people they had social - rather than professional - contact with over a seven day period. They also took a test to determine how competent they were at ’mentalising’, which is the capacity to understand what another person is thinking - a crucial aspect in how people handle the social world.
Results - published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B - showed a connection between people with a large friendship group and a larger prefrontal cortex.
tell：動詞，分辨、知道。例句：I could tell（that）you were unhappy.（我看得出你不快樂。）
as opposed to：片語，相對於，而非。例句：I’d prefer to go on holiday in May, as opposed to September.（我比較想在5月度假，而不是9月。）
competent：形容詞，有能力的，能勝任的。例句：I wouldn’t say he was brilliant but he is competent at his job.（我不會說他聰明，不過他能勝任他的工作。）