It's true: Nobody gets you quite like your BFF. Not only do they share your passion for Netflix and cat videos but they're always down to talk about whatever's on your mind. And hey, they'll even share your sense of humor (well, sometimes).
A recent study published in Nature Communications says the reason for this likeness is that best friends actually have similar - or sometimes identical - brain activity. Yup, your closest friends "get you" because it's like their basically looking in the mirror.
The study, conducted at Dartmouth College, initially had 279 students fill out a survey about friendship. From there, they examined the brain activity of 42 students as they watched old videos. The videos included clips from America's Funniest Home Videos and CNN's Crossfire, as well as footage of an astronaut at the International Space Station and a wedding ceremony.
MRI scans found that the closer the friends - in terms of relationship, not proximity - the closer the brain activity. The same brain areas - linked to motivation, attention, and judgment - lit up in close friends. From the results, researchers were even able to predict which participants were friends - and their guesses were spot on.
“People who responded more similarly to the videos shown in the experiment were more likely to be closer to one another in their shared social network, and these effects were significant even when controlling for inter-subject similarities in demographic variables, such as age, gender, nationality, and ethnicity,” the authors wrote.
The study raises a bigger question: Do people initially seek out friends who are just like them? Or do friends become more alike over time? "We think both are happening," author Adam Kleinbaum told Business Insider. But the authors aren't concerned about these tendencies. In fact, they believe it's a good thing because having close friends with similar brain activity "may be rewarding because it reinforces one's own values, opinions, and interests."
So, what comes next? Plan a movie night with your closest friends and see how in-sync you are. We bet you'll both be rolling on the floor with laughter or balling your eyes out because apparently, that's what best friends do.
(h/t Southern Living)
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