You're Probably A LOT More Similar To Your Best Friend Than You Think
Ever feel like health news is too overwhelming, fast-paced, or hard to decipher? Us too. Here, we filter through the latest in integrative health, wellness trends, and nutrition advice, reporting on the most exciting and meaningful breakthroughs. We’ll tell you exactly what you need to know—and how it might help you become a healthier and happier human.
If you've ever wondered why it seems like your best friend just gets you, there's a new science to explain that. According to a study published in the journal Nature Communications, close friends actually share strikingly similar brain waves.
For the study, researchers had friends watch a wide range of videos while measuring their brain waves. From videos about college football to videos about how water behaves in outer space, they found that close friends felt emotional, paid close attention, and got distracted at similar points in each video.
"I was struck by the exceptional magnitude of similarity among friends," Carolyn Parkinson, a cognitive scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles, said, adding, "our results suggest that friends might be similar in how they pay attention to and process the world around them...that shared processing could make people click more easily and have the sort of seamless social interaction that can feel so rewarding."
The similarity in brain waves may be a contributing factor in making friends, but keeping them is extremely important for our mental health. Previous research has found that having close friendship is associated with a lower risk of cognitive decline and that friendship builds resilience—so keep a close eye out for those people who share not just your interest but your brain chemistry.
Want to be a more epic friend? Here's how to make it happen.