Social media and the social brain

Mary E. Andrews, Rui Pei, Nina Lauharatanahirun, Alexandra M. Paul, Emily B. Falk

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Social connection is a fundamental need for humans, and social media offer one way for humans to meet some social and emotional needs. Emerging research explains some of the ways that social media engage brain systems that support or interfere with humans' motivation and ability to connect with others. This chapter reviews evidence tying social and emotional brain systems, including the reward-value and mentalizing brain systems, to common motivations associated with social media use: information sharing, receiving social approval and disapproval, and learning about the networked social world. Social and emotional needs, social media use, and the brain also change over developmental periods. Hence, the authors conclude the chapter by highlighting the need for additional study on the intersection of social media, emotional experiences, and the brain during adolescence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEmotions in the Digital World
Subtitle of host publicationExploring Affective Experience and Expression in Online Interactions
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9780197520567
ISBN (Print)9780197520536
StatePublished - Jul 20 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Psychology

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