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How social media reflects our daily mood changes

university-of-bristol-social-media-study

Published Friday 29 December 2017

By Hannah Nichols

Fact checked by Jasmin Collier

Researchers from the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom have used a dataset of more than 800 million Twitter messages to evaluate how collective mood changes over the course of 24 hours and across the seasons.

The most extensive study of its kind to date was led by machine learning researcher Dr. Fabon Dzogang.

He conducted the research with neuroscientist Prof. Stafford Lightman and Nello Cristianini, a professor of artificial intelligence from the Department of Engineering Mathematics.

Their findings were published in the official journal Brain and Neuroscience Advances.

Circadian rhythms are often referred to as the "body clock." They enable the human body to predict needs during the light and dark periods of each day. A small area in the hypothalamus of the brain, called the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), regulates most circadian activity.

The SCN is particularly sensitive to the light changes that occur at sunrise and sunset, sending signals through hormones and nerves to all the tissues in our body.

Circadian rhythms also impact mood. Understanding the interaction between light signals, seasons, and mood is regarded as important; light has a significant effect on multiple areas of the brain that play a role in attention and cognitive function. Moreover, mood affects the achievement of goals that are essential for a successful existence.

Read the full article at Medical News Today

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