With nearly 5 billion users worldwide spending an average of over two hours daily on platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook, the impact of social media on mental health and well-being has garnered increasing attention. Concerns about excessive and problematic usage, particularly among vulnerable adolescents, have led to discussions around terms such as ‘brain hacking,’ ‘dopamine trigger,’ and ‘social media addiction.’ However, there is limited scientific understanding of the relationship between social media and the brain.
Professor Benjamin Becker, from the Department of Psychology and State Key Laboratory of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the University of Hong Kong, collaborated with Professor Christian Montag from Ulm University in Germany to assemble an international expert team. Together, they called for promoting neuroscientific research to determine social media’s effects on the brain, aiming to provide evidence-based information for policy makers, public health initiatives, and users. Their call to action was published in Trends in Cognitive Sciences entitled ‘Unlocking the brain secrets of social media through neuroscience’.
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