Teens are absolutely engrossed by the Facebook and other social media platforms these days. Their daily routine involves the whole lot of postings of their pics and selfies on the wall of Facebook. When these pics start getting likes these teens get unusual high, actually certain areas in their brain which stimulates while ‘eating chocolates’ and ‘receiving money’ also get stimulated by these ‘FB likes’ in the same way.
Researchers from University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) showed 148 photographs to 32 teenagers aged between 13-18 years on a computer for 12 minutes including 40 photos that each year submitted and analysed their brain activity using Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging(FMRI). Each photo also displayed no. of likes it has supposedly received from other participants.
“When the teens see their own photos with large number of likes an area of striatum called the nucleus accumbens which is part of the brain’s reward circuitry was especially active,” said Loren Sherman from UCLA. This reward circuitry is thought to be sensitive during adolescence. The researchers also observed activation in the regions that are known as Social Brain Regions linked to visual attentions.
In deciding whether to like the photo the teenagers were highly influenced by the number of likes the photo had, researchers said:
“We showed the exact same photo with a lot of likes to half of the teens and to other half with just a few likes. When they saw a photo with more likes, they were significantly more likely to like it themselves”, said Sherman.
Teens react differently to information when they believe it has been endorsed by many or few of their peers, even if these peers are strangers, researchers said.
We can now understand the behavior pattern of teens, while using social network platforms comparatively better than previously thought. Teens are getting attracted towards the appreciation on Facebook because it gives them immense satisfaction, boost and also a sense of Pride.
Source: The times of India