A new research study conducted by California State University determined that Facebook has the same effects on a person’s brain as hard drugs, such as cocaine. “Users might respond to a Facebook message on their mobile device before reacting to traffic conditions,” explained a lead researcher involved in the project.
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According to findings of a new research project conducted by California State University, long Facebook feeds that never end affect our brains just like cocaine.
The researchers claim that surfing endlessly on Facebook affects our gray matter, the main component of our central nervous systems, in the same way as hard drugs, such as cocaine. They were able to discover this finding by scanning the brains of Facebook users who claimed they cannot disconnect from the popular social networking site.
“The impulsive system can be thought of as a car’s accelerator, while the inhibitory system can be likened to a brake,” explained Prof. Ofir Turel of California State University. “In addictions, there is very strong acceleration associated with the impulsive system often coupled with a malfunctioning inhibitory system.”
According to the study, which was published in Psychological Reports, the participants filled out a questionnaire, in order to determine how strong their addition is to Mark Zuckerberg’s social network. Following the questionnaire, they were shown pictures, some related to Facebook. The students were asked to hit a button when a picture related to Facebook appeared. The students who pushed on the button the most received a “high grade” also in the addiction questionnaire.
The researchers discovered that Facebook stimulates the amygdala, the part of the brain that is involved in establishing the significance of occasions and emotions. In addition, the researchers discovered that a Facebook feed triggers the striatum, the part of the brain that helps process expectations of rewards and satisfactions. Some participants even responded quicker to Facebook stimulates than traffic signs.
“This is scary when you think about it, since it means that users might respond to a Facebook message on their mobile device before reacting to traffic conditions if they are using technology while on the road,” stated Turel. However, the researchers found that the impulsive systems in the brains of addicted Facebook users were not affected, as opposed to the case of drug addicts.