Facebook Hacks Your Brain: A Brief History Of Social Media Science

Social media is a treasure trove of research material for neuroscientists and psychologists. Here's how scientists are hacking our brains with Facebook and Twitter

Nov 11, 2015 at 2:26 PM ET

Facebook is having a moment in scientific research. Since 1997, more than 10,000 research papers have referenced the term “social media”—social scientists scour forums to recruit study participants, economists and marketing analysts rely on robust social audiences for their reports. Now, according to a new study published on Wednesday in Trends In Cognitive Sciences, neuroscientists and psychologists are beginning to join the fray, tapping into Facebook’s 1.5 billion active users to learn more about what makes us tick. Here’s a brief history what we’ve learned from scientists who use Facebook to hack the human mind: