Facebook 'could affect the brain in similar way to cocaine'

Technology-related addictions have neural features similar to substance and gambling craze, finds new study

News Desk February 22, 2016
Addictions related to technology have neural features similar to substance and gambling addictions. PHOTO: AFP

Facebook has been found to have similar effects on the brain as is the case with cocaine addiction, a new study has found.

Under the research, as many as 20 undergraduates filled a questionnaire assessing ‘addiction-like’ symptoms related to the social networking site.

These symptoms included anxiety, withdrawal and conflict in connection with the website, said a study published in Psychological Reports: Disability and Trauma.

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The students were subsequently shown images and were required to press, or not press a button, while researches monitored their brain activity.

It appeared students who pushed a button as they responded to Facebook-related images were the ones who also scored highly in the addiction-like symptoms test.

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Thus, the study found addictions that were technology-related shared neural features with gambling and substance addictions.

According to the study, brain imaging revealed that Facebook-related images activated brain regions involved in compulsive behaviour. Strikingly, these brain patters were found to have been similar to people addicted to cocaine.

The article first appeared on The Independent 

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