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article imageFriends: The secret to becoming smarter, happier and productive

By Lesley Lanir     Oct 31, 2013 in Lifestyle
Los Angeles - Our basic need to connect socially is as important as food and water according to findings in, 'Social-Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect,' by UCLA psychologist Matthew Lieberman. Strengthening our social super-powers will help our lives, he says.
Based on the latest cutting edge research Matthew Lieberman, a distinguished social psychologist and neuroscientist writes in his book 'Social-Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect' that reducing social distractions closes down important areas of the brain leaving many essential neuro-cognitive processes unused.
It is thought that we are guided only by pain and pleasure,'Social' says differently. Lieberman's claim is that one of our fundamentally, basic needs as humans is to connect with other people. He continues to say that it is wrong to limit our social connections because we are wired to be social and efforts in the work-place and in education systems to minimise social contact will not motivate people to learn - rather the opposite will happen.
Apparently, new research using fMRI – including original research conducted by Lieberman and his UCLA lab shows that our brains react to social pain and pleasure in much the same way as they do to physical pain and pleasure. He says in his book that our capacity to feel pain is not a flaw in our neural architecture but instead "profoundly important to our survival" and suffering from a broken-heart can feel as painful as a broken leg; the areas of the brain that deal with physical pain become more activated the more rejected a person feels.
In an interview with Emily Esfahani Smith in The Atlantic, Lieberman says that “Evolution has made a bet that the best thing for our brain to do in any spare moment is to get ready for what comes next in social terms.”
We are wired to be social says Lieberman.
More about social connections, Friends, 'SocialWhy Our Brains Are Wired to Connect, Matthew lieberman
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