For teenagers 'likes' on social media as sweet as chocolate

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In the study published in the journal Psychological Science, the researchers claimed that in teenagers similar brain circuits are activated by seeing a large number of likes on their photos as by eating chocolate.
The researchers from the University of California - Los Angeles in their recent study have concluded that for teenagers seeing large numbers of "likes" on their own photos or the photos of peers on a social networking site is as pleasing as eating chocolates.


In the study published in the journal Psychological Science, the researchers claimed that in teenagers similar brain circuits are activated by seeing a large number of likes on their photos as by eating chocolateWith the sample size of 32 teenagers, aged 13-18, the study tried to observe the brain activation by using functional magnetic resonance imaging, or FMRI.


In an experiment, the sample group was shown 148 photographs on a computer screen for 12 minutes, including 40 photos that each teenager submitted.
Each photo also displayed the number of likes it had supposedly received from other teenage participants. However, these likes were assigned by the researchers.

 

EVERYONE LIKES A 'LIKE'
According to researchers, when teenagers saw their own photos with large number of likes, a region in the brain called the nucleus accumbens was stimulated. This region of the brain is part of the brain's reward circuitry.
This circuitry is thought to be particularly sensitive during adolescence.
"When the teenagers saw their own photos with a large number of likes, we saw activity across a wide variety of regions in the brain," said lead author Lauren Sherman.

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