‘Jennifer Aniston Neuron’ is in our brains: Scientist explains

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Neuroscience is having a mainstream moment thanks to America’s dear friend. 

TikTok has discovered the “Jennifer Aniston Neuron” — a single brain cell that’s “activated” by photos of the actress — and it has ignited a viral moment for the surprisingly complex concept. 

The scientific community has actually long been aware that Aniston inspired something much headier than “The Rachel” hairdo. This celeb-focused brain bit was first discovered when neuroscientist Rodrigo Quian Quiroga, then based at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, published a landmark study about it in 2015.

However, as of Wednesday afternoon, more than 285,000 TikTok users are suddenly familiar with the “Friends” star’s legit scientific impact thanks to a now-viral video about it posted by neuroscientist — and digital content creator — Dr. Ben Rein. 

“There is scientific evidence that when you look at this — there is probably one neuron, one cell in your brain that is activated by all of those photos,” the bearded Palo Alto, California-based scientist says in the clip — originally posted on Oct. 7 but just now tweaking the brains of pop culture fans — as photos of the actress flash in the background. 

Wow, no wonder the 52-year-old “The Morning Show” star’s acclaimed career — and “damn good” body — endures so strongly 27 years after America fell in love with her as Rachel Green in NBC’s iconic sitcom about a group of pals living in NYC.

Is this photo of Aniston on the red carpet doing something to your brain? Chances are it is, Rein says.
Getty Images

Of course, in the original Nature article heralding their Aniston discovery, Quiroga’s team’s finding was phrased more scientifically as “various pictures of Jennifer Aniston elicited a response in a single neuron inside the medial temporal lobe.”

Rein, who has more than 500,000 followers on TikTok, goes on to explain the findings of Quiroga’s research study, including that “certain brain cells represent or encode specific things, like the identity of a person or an object.” 

jennifer anniston tiktok neuron

Most of the brain cells were found — unsurprisingly — in areas of the brain associated with memory.

“If you know who Jennifer Aniston is, then you probably have a Jennifer Anniston neuron like this, but that one neuron is not located in the exact same place in everyone’s brain,” said Rein, who doubles as an Instagram influencer and frequent contributor on “Good Morning America” and ABC News broadcasts.

“There are probably several, maybe even hundreds of cells which encode information related to Jennifer Anniston, and this cell probably interacts with those cells,” he continued. “Brain’s not quite simple enough where it’s like, one cell per one thing. Neuroscience can be pretty cool.” 

Meanwhile, Quiroga — who is now based at the UK’s University of Leicester — went on to follow up his study with the 2017 book, “The Forgetting Machine: Memory, Perception, and the Jennifer Aniston Neuron.”

Reps for Aniston have not responded to The Post’s request for comment about her newfound role as a science influencer.

jennifer anniston tiktok neuron
This image of Jennifer Anniston is likely causing a very specific response in your brain right now.
Getty Images for Turner





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