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Facebook Addiction Activates The Same Part Of Your Brain As Cocaine

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FACEBOOK WATERSHEDThere have been many studies conducted on the brain functions of those who use obsessively use the internet and the similarities of these functions as found in addicts. In a recent study published by Psychological Reports: Disability and Trauma, students from California State University used a questionnaire to assess how addicted their student body is to Facebook.

Facebook Addiction Study

How the study worked

Twenty undergraduate students were given a questionnaire and asked to assess their own ‘addiction­like’ symptoms that included anxiety, withdrawal and conflict as each relates to Facebook. They were also asked to press a button when random images appeared on a tablet screen. These images were a mix of regular images and Facebook icons. Their brain activity was measured and mapped in association with how fast the students pressed these buttons.

Study results

The study determined that Facebook triggers affected the parts of the brain called the amygdala and the striatum. The amygdala helps establish the significance of events and emotions, and the striatum controls the processing and anticipation of rewards. These brain areas are also linked with compulsive behaviors and the patterns produced were similar to those seen in people addicted to cocaine.

One interesting find is that some participants reacted to Facebook stimuli faster than they did to road 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,” said professor Ofir Turel of California State University.

Getting help

While jokes about addiction to social media can be a problem in its own category, drug and alcohol addiction is no laughing matter. If you or a loved one are dealing with addiction troubles, please reach out to The Watershed today. We’re here 24/7 and your call is completely confidential. Call today: 1­800­861­1768




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