Si­mi­la­ri­ties in brain ac­ti­vi­ty could be used to pre­dict friend­ships

Les amis uti­lisent leur cer­veau de ma­nière si­mi­laire.

Vocable (Anglais) - - Édito | Sommaire - JOSH GABBATISS

L’ami­tié a tou­jours été un su­jet de re­cherche pri­vi­lé­gié. Grâce à l’uni­ver­si­té du Wis­con­sin, nous avons ap­pris que l’ami­tié pla­to­nique était im­pos­sible et que nous sommes gé­né­ti­que­ment proches de nos amis. Une nouvelle étude de l’Uni­ver­si­té de Ca­li­for­nie ré­vèle que les af­fi­ni­tés ami­cales vont bien au-de­là de simples cri­tères phy­siques et so­cio­lo­giques…

Friend­ships can be pre­dic­ted by scan­ning people’s brains, ac­cor­ding to a new stu­dy. The si­mi­la­ri­ties between people’s brain ac­ti­vi­ty in res­ponse to vi­deos were used by re­sear­chers to iden­ti­fy friend­ships wi­thin a group of people.

OBSERVING BRAIN AC­TI­VI­TY

2. Scien­tists scan­ned par­ti­ci­pants’ brains while they wat­ched vi­deo clips, and found that friends had the most si­mi­lar brain ac­ti­vi­ty, fol­lo­wed by friends-of-friends. “Neu­ral res­ponses to dy­na­mic, na­tu­ra­lis­tic sti­mu­li, like vi­deos, can give us a win­dow in­to people’s un­cons­trai­ned, spon­ta­neous thought pro­cesses as they un­fold.” said Dr Ca­ro­lyn Par­kin­son, a psy­cho­lo­gist at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Ca­li­for­nia, Los An­geles, who led the stu­dy. “Our re­sults sug­gest that friends pro­cess the world around them in ex­cep­tio­nal­ly si­mi­lar ways.” 3. The scien­tists said their re­search is consistent with the concept of “neu­ral ho­mo­phi­ly” – the idea that people tend to be friends with in­di­vi­duals who see the world in a si­mi­lar way. While pre­vious stu­dies have loo­ked at si­mi­la­ri­ties between friends in terms of phy­si­cal at­tri­butes like age or gen­der, Dr Par­kin­son and her col­leagues wanted to ex­plore whe­ther there were “dee­per si­mi­la­ri­ties in how we per­ceive, in­ter­pret and re­spond to the world”.

4. Their stu­dy in­clu­ded 42 stu­dents who were as­ked to watch a range of vi­deos while their brain ac­ti­vi­ty was re­cor­ded using a func­tio­nal ma­gne­tic

3. to be consistent with concor­der avec / to tend to avoir ten­dance à (they tend to be: ils sont gé­né­ra­le­ment) / pre­vious pré­cé­dent. 4. range ici, sé­rie / to re­cord en­re­gis­trer / re­so­nance ima­ging (fMRI) scan­ner. A range of res­ponses was ge­ne­ra­ted in the stu­dents by ex­po­sing them to a va­rie­ty of to­pics, in­clu­ding science, co­me­dy and mu­sic vi­deos. Each of the par­ti­ci­pants wat­ched the vi­deos in the same or­der, and then the re­sear­chers com­pa­red scans from pairs of stu­dents to as­cer­tain how si­mi­lar their res­ponses were.

A SOCIAL SPECIES

5. They found that when a pair of stu­dents iden­ti­fied as friends, their brain res­ponse was more si­mi­lar than pairs who were not friends.

6. The scien­tists sug­ges­ted their re­sults are evi­dence that people tend to pre­fe­ren­tial­ly be­friend people who think in a si­mi­lar way. “We are a social species and live our lives connec­ted to eve­ry­bo­dy else,” said se­nior au­thor Dr Tha­lia Wheat­ley, a psy­cho­lo­gist at Dart­mouth Col­lege. “If we want to un­ders­tand how the hu­man brain works, then we need to un­ders­tand how brains work in com­bi­na­tion – how minds shape each other.”

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