Does the internet ‘mess with your brain’? New international project aims to find out

social brain

As anyone who has spent any amount of time on Twitter can tell you, the internet can bring out the worst in us. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that scientists in Europe are now hoping to catalogue exactly how the online hellscape affects mental health and well-being.

“Just about everyone uses the Internet, but much information on problem use is still lacking,” Naomi Fineberg, a psychiatrist at the University of Hertfordshire in the UK and chair of the EU-PUI, said in a statement.

[P]otential areas of research will include figuring out if there are genetic or personality traits that can make us vulnerable to problematic internet use, or if there are markers that can help doctors identify someone at risk. These could be traditional biomarkers or could even include things such as the amount of time we spend on a particular website or internet activity. And as public health workers have done with other major problems like smoking, the researchers plan to hold a mirror up to bad actors.

Related article:  'Psychobiotics': Can we control the way we think by altering gut bacteria?

The EU-PUI has been allocated €520,000 in funding from the EU so far, according to a press release by the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology. And the network has recruited more than 120 scientists from 38 countries.

How sad and lonely does the internet make you?

Read full, original post: A Major Scientific Project Aims to Find Out Exactly How the Internet Is Screwing With Your Brain

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