The Human brain helps us to unravel the complexity of the social networks. It can spontaneously access information and help us make intelligent decisions and appropriate responses for acceptable social outcomes.
In a recent research paper published in ‘Nature – Human behavior’ author Carolyn Parkinson of the University of California talks about how the brain seems to encode the messages we send when meeting familiar people and their position in the social network. This may not seem like a breakthrough immediately but then the author says this has implications in the way of how we can use this information to understand an individual’s standing in the social network.
In addition, this research can help behavioral studies on how our knowledge of a person’s social standing in a social network can make changes in our attention, empathy, and trust on that person. The brain region where this information is recorded is the higher order pre-frontal cortex and there is a spontaneous access to it.
We interact with many individuals on a daily basis. Keeping track of our acquaintances and our relationships with others is no mean task. Sometimes our friends and relatives will have second degree and third degree relationships with their friends and relatives. It becomes complex as we go on extending the chain. Now in this complexity, tracking our own relationships and the extended relationships we have with others (not in a sense of self-interest) requires some degree of understanding the relationships.
The question is can the brain in its natural state help us?
Yes, says the research conducted by Carolyn Parkinson of University of California. Thanks to the Mo Costandi of Scientific American to bring this information to light.
FMRI on 21 MBA Students
Parkinson and her colleagues from Dartmouth College surveyed 275 first year MBA students. In the survey, the questions where directed specifically towards their social habits. It included how they preferred mingling with the crowd and with whom they preferred to hang around with and visit their homes. Their preference in attending social events and so on.
They measured the responses in three different ways. The first one looked at the ‘degrees of separation‘ from one another. The second one looked at ‘their closeness to well-connected individuals’ in the social network” and the third ‘the extent of their closeness with aloof individuals’.