Friends affect brain size

In a study published recently, it was found that people with lots of friends on Facebook, part of the brain responsible for social cues more. The same study concluded that monkeys living in large groups, the brain more.

According to the "hypothesis of social brain," the reason that in primates, including humans, a relatively large brain that it needs more space to handle complex social relationships.
For more accurate results, researchers interviewed 40 regular volunteers on the number and nature of social relations occurred over the past week. The researchers wanted to make sure that the communication of these people happens in the active form, not just a "hi-bye" or work-related contacts. The same researchers evaluated the ability of subjects to distinguish the psychological state of others.
Oxford University anthropologist Robin Dunbar and his colleagues have found that people with a lot of strong social ties have developed Bole orbital part of the prefrontal cortex - the area of ​​the brain, located behind the eyes and is responsible for appropriate social behavior and interaction with others.

"The size of the orbitofrontal cortex, in particular, determines how well you have developed psychoanalytic skills, and these skills are, in turn, determine the number of your friends," - said Professor Dunbar.
But scientists racked up another question: "social brain" is given to man by birth or acquired this property?
Functional prefrontal cortex is a key to understanding the social situation - people with damage to these parts of the brain are known to interact badly with other people. But the final size of any area of ​​the brain, partly depends on how this area is used as a child.
For example, children with a large number of older brothers and sisters develop their potential psychological analysis earlier than children in small families.

"I will make an analogy: you can not be a great tennis player, just because your body can play tennis," - said Dunbar. "You have eight hours a day, seven days a week to train. On the other hand, if you do not have the body from the outset, then no training does not turn you into Rafael Nadal. "


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