Dar Meshi

Dar Meshi

Associate Professor

  • Advertising + Public Relations


Dar Meshi investigates social media use, often focusing on maladaptive, problematic social media use. Social media platforms are a relatively new phenomenon, but they tap into social cognitive processes that have been hardwired into our brains over years of evolution. For example, humans are drawn to positive, rewarding social information, such as “likes” on social media. These social rewards act as reinforcers, bringing people back to social media sites repeatedly and for significant durations of time. Importantly, some individuals use social media so much that they experience an impairment in daily functioning and psychological distress, similar to substance use and other behavioral addictive disorders. Dar's research program focuses on the brain and behavior of both adults and adolescents to better understand this problematic social media use. To answer his research questions, he conducts behavioral experiments both in the lab and online. He also conducts neuroimaging experiments with an MRI scanner. Ultimately, with the knowledge gained by this research, Dar hopes to help individuals who display problematic social media use, as well as contribute to a better understanding of socially motivated human behavior.

Dar Meshi earned his B.S. in biology from the University of California at Los Angeles, and his Ph.D. from Columbia University in New York. After his Ph.D., Dar spent some time in New York working at advertising agencies like Ogilvy and Mather. Dar then returned to academia, working as a postdoctoral scientist at Brown University and Freie Universität Berlin.

Lab Website:


Lab Recruitment:

Are you interested in joining Dar's research team? The lab is currently growing and we're looking for talented individuals to conduct research. To learn more about ongoing research, check out smnlab.msu.edu, and if interested, just send an email.

Research and Teaching

Research Topics:
Social Media Use, Social Decisions, Individual Differences, fMRI.

-Neuromarketing and Consumer Decisions (ADV 401)
-Account Planning and Research (ADV 342)
-Neurocognitive Communication (CAS 992)
-Psychology and Effects of Social Media Use (CAS 892)

Thematic Research Areas

Computational Communication
Media Psychology
Neurocognitive Communication

Research Centers and Labs

Social and Media Neuroscience Lab
Health and Risk Communication Center

Media Coverage

The Guardian, “Everyone is on their phones. But is it phone addiction we’re experiencing?” by Simar Bajaj, January 3, 2024.

CNN Podcast, “It’s Time to Stop Doom Scrolling” with Sanjay Gupta, March 22, 2022.

Forbes, “Get Happy: The Science Of Emotions And How To Harness Them For Happiness” by Tracy Brower, June 1, 2021.

The Washington Post, “Facebook, Instagram will let you hide ‘likes.’ If you want.” by Rachel Lerman, May 26, 2021.

US News and World Report, Feeling Down? Support Via Social Media May Not Be Enough” by Alan Mozes, May 10, 2021.

Psychology Today, “Three Reasons Real-Life Social Support Is Best for Mental Health” by Christopher Bergland, May 9, 2021.

PBS NewsHour, How removing ‘likes’ from Instagram could affect our mental health” by Jamie Leventhal, November 25, 2019.

The New York Times, “'Screen time' is over” by Ben Carey, May 31, 2019.

Newsweek, “Donald Trump presidency linked to spikes in Americans Tweeting about feeling embarrassed” by Kashmira Gander, March 27, 2019.

The Atlantic, “Americans are getting secondhand embarrassment from Trump” by Olga Khazan, March 27, 2019.

The Washington Post, “New study finds social media junkies make riskier decisions” by Cat Zakrzewski, January 10, 2019.

Scientific American, “Are social networking sites controlling your mind?” by Simon McCarthy-Jones, December 8, 2017.

The Wall Street Journal, “Am I really addicted to Facebook?” February 1, 2017.

The Washington Post, “The surprising truth about how Twitter hasn’t changed your brain” March 21, 2016.

Vice, “Five social media quirks that could tell neuroscientists more about our brains” November 11, 2015.

NPR (radio interview), “Neuroscientists in Berlin find link between reward activity and social media use” October 31, 2013.

Time Magazine, “This is your brain on Facebook” August 31, 2013.

NBC News, “Addicted to Facebook fame? Blame your brain’s nucleus accumbens” August 30, 2013.

The Los Angeles Times, “Sex, food, Facebook: Are they all linked in the mind?” August 29, 2013.

Contact Information

Michigan State University
Communication Arts and Sciences
404 Wilson Road, Room 324
East Lansing, MI 48824

Lab Website (smnlab.msu.edu)
Google Scholar