21/10/2011 08:12 BST | Updated 21/12/2011 05:12 GMT

Study: Facebook Users With More Friends Have Larger Brains

Scientists have discovered a direct link between the number of Facebook friends a person has and the size of their grey matter.

Researchers from the University College London analysed online profiles and brain scans of 124 university students and found that those who had the most Facebook buddies, had more grey matter in areas of the brain, like the amygdala, which controls emotion, memory, navigation and social interaction.

Less surprisingly, it was also found that those with hundreds of online friends were more likely to have more friends in real life, too.

"Our findings support the idea that most Facebook users use the site to support their existing social relationships, maintaining or reinforcing these friendships, rather than just creating networks of entirely new, virtual friends," says Professor Geraint Rees, from the study.

While the study, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, provides strong evidence that our brains are directly linked to our levels of social networking, they are still investigating whether it's more grey matter that causes a larger social network community - or more Facebook friends that cause the larger amounts of grey matter.