Brains of Friends Respond Very Similarly to Same Stimuli
A new study, led by Carolyn Parkinson, an assistant professor of psychology working at the University of California, Los Angeles, demonstrates that the brains of friends respond very similarly to the same stimuli.
A team of scientists recruited 279 graduate students who completed questionnaires concerning their friendships, indicating people in their cohort that they were close to. Then scientists conducted functional MRI scans on a subset of 42 participants while they were shown a series of 14 videos to explore brain responses.
The analysis of the responses measured by functional MRI confirmed that friends had the most similar neural responses overall. Their brain activity indicated compatible emotional reactions.
Senior study author Thalia Wheatley says: “We are a social species, and live our lives connected to everybody else. If we want to understand how the human brain works, we need to understand how brains work in combination – how minds shape each other.”
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