What do your friends' brains look like when they think of you?

A new study suggests that brain activity patterns what your show friends when they consider your personality traits They may be notably similar to those of your brain when you think of yourself Similarly, these friends will have other patterns of brain activity when they think of another person in their group (more in tune with the latter).

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People constantly create and update the ideas we have about others generally based on their thoughts, feelings and beliefs. At the same time, others get an idea of ​​us based on the same criteria.

A group of researchers wanted to know if the neural representation of oneself is reflected in that of our acquaintances. With this in mind, they used magnetic resonance imaging functional to evaluate brain activity in the medial prefrontal cortex (area involved in information retrieval) of eleven people who were all friends with each other (in varying degrees).

"They were a fairly united group of the same academic program that spent time together both in and outside the university," he said. Dylan Wagner, co-author of the study and professor of psychology.

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Prefrontal cortex.

In the study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, All evaluated each other – and evaluated themselves – in a variety of Personality traits, among those who found themselves to be lonely, reliable, enthusiastic and intelligent.

The results showed that for each participant, the combined brain activity of their friends when they were evaluated looked a lot like their own brain activity.

"Each of your friends can see a slightly different side of you. When you bring them all together, it is a better approximation of how you see yourself than that of any individual person," said Robert Chavez, who did the job as a researcher. postdoctoral, which suggests, on the other hand, that it is possible to measure how accurate we are in self-perception using as a parameter the evaluations made by others of us.

The researchers plan to follow up on this study considering in the future, other types of interpersonal relationships, like those of a group of coworkers.

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