Monday, April 9, 2012
More friends = bigger brains…or is it vice versa?
A recent study published in The Proceedings of the Royal Academy of Biological Sciences reveals that if found a correlation between the size of one’s orbital prefrontal cortex volume and the number of friends somebody has.
David DiSalvo wrote about this study in Forbes magazine and concluded that “…the study suggests that we need to employ a set of cognitive skills to maintain a large number of friends.”
According to DiSalvo’s article, “The researchers took brain scans of 40 volunteers to measure the size of the prefrontal cortex. Participants were then asked to make a list of everyone they had had social (not professional) contact with over the previous seven days.
They also took a test to determine their competency in mentalizing.
Professor Dunbar, who initiated the study, was quoted as saying that, “We found that individuals who had more friends did better on mentalizing tasks and had more neural volume in the orbital frontal cortex.”
DiSalvo further commented that “The study suggests that we need to employ a set of cognitive skills to maintain a large number of friends.”
I guess my question runs something like this: “will I make more friends if I increase the size of my orbital prefrontal cortex?” Is there a Lumosity exercise for that or do I have to go out and actually talk to people?
Maybe I just answered my own question.
Here’s a link to Mr. DiSalvo’s article: http://www.forbes.com/sites/daviddisalvo/2012/03/25/study-the-bigger-your-brain-the-more-friendships-you-can-manage/
And here’s a link to the abstract fromThe Proceedings of the Royal Academy of Biological Sciences http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/early/2012/01/27/rspb.2011.2574