The rise of social media has meant that social and professional interactions are increasingly carried out online. This trend is expected to continue in the coming decades, as the digital world becomes more immersive and realistic. To understand how the human brain might be affected by this shift, Dean Mobbs, professor of cognitive neuroscience, is leading a new project that will use social psychology and neuroscience to explore the relationship between social media use and mental health.
Mobbs, who is also the Allen V. C. Davis and Lenabelle Davis Leadership Chair, director of the Caltech Brain Imaging Center and an affiliated faculty member of the Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Institute for Neuroscience, specializes in studying fear and anxiety. He has helped identify the different circuits in the brain activated by those emotions, and has observed their role in human decision-making. He will leverage this expertise in the new project.