From the ‘friends make you happy” department:

Well, this study doesn’t say that; it says that friends lead to a bigger part of the brain…..or is it that the bigger brain leads to wider social networks? Anyway, it’s all in a new study just published in the journal Nature.

Excerpt: “A new study by a Northeastern University researcher and her colleagues indicates that the size of a certain part of the human brain plays a significant role in determining the breadth of social relationships.

Participants… had a magnetic resonance imaging brain scan to gather information about various brain structures, including the volume of the amygdala. The authors found that individuals with larger amygdala reported larger and more complex social networks. This link was observed for both older and younger individuals, and for both men and women.

Barrett noted that the study findings are consistent with the “social brain hypothesis,” which suggests that the human amygdala might have evolved partially to deal with an increasingly complex social life.”

Does this mean if you have a zillion friends on Facebook, you’ve got a particularly large amygdala?

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