Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Wednesday Tech Tips: This is your brain on Facebook

Typical afternoon: you've just watched a video of kittens in rollerskates dancing to "Heart Attack."  Was this experience share-worthy?  And with who?

Activate the Temporo-Parietal Junction!  A study by UCLA scientists showed that this part of your brain indicates whether you will share something before you know it yourself.  (It is also, apparently, responsible for out-of-body-experiences.  Which makes total sense in a weird way.)  

The TPJ is hooked in big time to empathy, which explains the wonkiest bit about it:
"Three years ago, an MIT team showed that stimulating the TPJ affected moral reasoning: subjects were less likely to care about the inherent morality of a situation (in this case, whether a man should let his girlfriend walk across a rickety bridge) and more about outcomes (did she get across safely?)."

Pretty intriguing to think how this links up with social media sharing -- if I told you this was a link to a bear attack video, would you head on over and watch it?  Maybe that's stretching the science a bit, but we have the ability to watch a lot more misadventures online than ever before.

Will people start using these brain studies to make their Youtube videos go viral?  I predict yes!  Now excuse me, while I tell a few friends about this...


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