Social networking sites use and the morphology of a social-semantic brain network Academic Article uri icon

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  • Social lives have shifted, at least in part, for large portions of the population to social networking sites. How such lifestyle changes may be associated with brain structures is still largely unknown. In this manuscript, we describe two preliminary studies aimed at exploring this issue. The first study (n = 276) showed that Facebook users reported on increased social-semantic and mentalizing demands, and that such increases were positively associated with people's level of Facebook use. The second study (n = 33) theorized on and examined likely anatomical correlates of such changes in demands on the brain. Findings indicated that the grey matter volumes of the posterior parts of the bilateral middle and superior temporal, and left fusiform gyri were positively associated with the level of Facebook use. These results provided preliminary evidence that grey matter volumes of brain structures involved in social-semantic and mentalizing tasks may be linked to the extent of social networking sites use.


  • Turel, Ofir
  • He, Qinghua
  • Brevers, Damien
  • Bechara, Antoine

publication date

  • September 3, 2018