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Harvard neuroscience researchers have just confirmed what many of us have suspected all along: social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest are “brain candy” for Internet users. Every status update, every tweet, every pin is a micro-jolt delivered squarely to the pleasure centers of our brains.

What’s alternately terrifying and inspiring is how all this thinking about emotions, visuals and sensory stimulation is starting to flow through to the actual strategies of leading Internet competitors.

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