This is a teen’s brain on marijuana.
This is a teen’s brain on social media.
See any difference?
In a groundbreaking study, a University of California, San Diego (UCSD), psychiatrist is investigating whether social media affects the adolescent brain in the same way as cannabis. Establishing a link could change how medical professionals view teens’ engagement with Instagram, Snapchat and other social media platforms.
“Psychiatrists don’t recognise excessive social media use as addictive behaviour,” said Dr Kara Bagot, a child psychiatrist and assistant professor in residency at UCSD in the US. “If it shows similar changes in the activation of the brain’s reward circuitry, then we can develop a treatment model.”
Other researchers have looked at how social media, for better or worse, affects teens. But Dr Bagot’s study is the first to compare social media to…