Specifically the amygdala, the central component of the limbic brain system which is known to be vital to understanding aspects of emotion, memory and social behaviour, is thought to increase in size.
To manage social contacts and aquaintances the brain needs a more capable centre for managing its "data".
|Hank Grebe / Pures/tock / SuperStock|
An American group of scientists has now found in humans what was before known for other animals. The bigger and more complex the "herd", the larger the volume of the amygdala.
But it is not only the brain that increases in size, other parts of the nervous system, like the optic nerve are known to improve in other animals.
Now the trouble with social networks is the depending on how they are used they can also isolate people, reversing the effect. But if these online communities are used to reinforce contacts the internet can be a great tool for "being social".
If social networks can turn shy people into masters of socialising remains to be seen. Soon MRI scans might show clues.
So. Your opinions on social networks? Helpful for keeping contacts, good for making new ones, or rather the opposite, leading to isolation?