Thu, May 24, 2012 - Page 14 News List

Brain size tells how many friends a person has

A woman looks at a functional magnetic resonance image (fMRI) showing the effect of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring and Kant’s “3rd Critique” on the human brain in London on March 27.

Photo: AFP

The larger your brain is, the more friends you have. This is what is being said by a team of researchers from the University of Oxford.

Keeping up friendships takes brain power, research found, and people with real friends — as opposed to pals on social network sites — have to employ more cognitive skills to understand what someone is thinking.

Researchers have found a link between the number of friends people have and the size of their orbital prefrontal cortex. Tests were conducted on 40 people, with scientists taking anatomical magnetic resonance (MR) images of their brains to measure the size of their prefrontal cortex, which is used for high-level thinking.

Participants were asked to make a list of people they had social — rather than professional — contact with over a seven-day period. They also took a test to determine how competent they were at “mentalizing,” which is the capacity to understand what another person is thinking — a crucial aspect in how people handle the social world.

Results — published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B — showed a connection between people with a large friendship group and a larger prefrontal cortex.

(Liberty Times)








1. as opposed to adv. phr.

相對於;而非 (xiang1 dui4 yu2; er2 fei1)

例: I’d prefer to go on holiday in May as opposed to September.


2. competent adj.

有能力的;能勝任的 (you3 nan2 li4 de5; nan2 sheng1 ren4 de5)

例: I wouldn’t say he is brilliant but he is competent at his job.


3. crucial adj.

關鍵的 (guan1 jian4 de5)

例: Eating sensibly has a crucial effect on your health.


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