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12/27/2010

Are human brains wired for more 'friends?'

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Ever think that an acquaintance of yours had lots of friends and an active social life because of their good looks or charming personality?

Researchers now say the size of a section of someone’s brain can be linked to the number of friends they have.

According to the study published in Nature Neuroscience, the size of a human’s amygdalae is correlated to the size of a person’s social network.

Deep within the temporal lobe of your noggin, the almond-sized amygdalae appears to reflect the level and amount of a person’s interaction with others.  

The study looked at MRI images from a sample size of 58 people aged 19-83. No matter if they were barely able to vote or barely able to use a walker, the results were scientifically consistent.

If you have enough time to read through the results of the study, you’ll notice the folk in white lab coats used something called a Social Network Index to figure out the size and complexity of someone’s social network.

But before we get too excited about the study – do scientists mean someone’s real-life social network or their online social network?

Sadly, the former...although the research is just asking for someone to now look at the relationship between someone’s...whatisname...amygdalae...and the size of their online network.

Mashable did point out the results of a ‘digital’ social network study that found humans are only able to manage a maximum of 150 ‘friends’ even though we might have hundreds - if not thousands listed on our profile page.

Do you believe the study? Do you think a person’s capability to be social is based on a part of their brain or on their life experiences?

- Maurice Cacho, MSN Tech & Gadgets                                                                        Photo:Dan Kitwood/Getty

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Danny BradburyDanny Bradbury

Danny Bradbury is a technology journalist with 20 years' experience. He writes regularly for publications including the Guardian, the Financial Times, the Financial Post, and Backbone magazine. Danny also writes and directs documentaries.

Maurice CachoMaurice Cacho

Maurice Cacho is a Toronto-based journalist mixing his love for tech with a passion for news. He's also CP24's Web Journalist and appears daily on CP24 Breakfast and weekly on the channel's tech show, Webnation, discussing tech news and trends.

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