Researchers Confront an Epidemic of Loneliness

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BLACKPOOL, England — The woman on the other end of the phone spoke lightheartedly of spring and of her 81st birthday the previous week. “Who did you celebrate with, Beryl?” asked Alison, whose job was to offer a kind ear. “No one, I…” And with that, Beryl’s cheer turned to despair. Her voice began to … Read More

New Evidence for the Necessity of Loneliness

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A specific set of neurons deep in the brain may motivate us to seek company, holding social species together. As social animals, we depend on others for survival. Our communities provide mutual aid and protection, helping humanity to endure and thrive. “We have survived as a species not because we’re fast or strong or have … Read More

Questions for Kay Tye: How loneliness drives social behavior

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Spectrum News

Most people are wired to seek pleasure in the company of others, but individuals with autism appear to lack this drive. The chemical messenger dopamine may rouse the brain’s reward center differently in autism, dulling the pleasure from social interaction. A new study suggests that social contact is more than just a reward — it may … Read More

Neuroscientists pinpoint brain cells that represent loneliness

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Contact with other humans isn’t just psychologically beneficial: it also provides us with evolutionary advantages. Historically, it was easier to find food and shelter as a group than it was alone, and so an instinct to seek comfort in groups has been deeply ingrained. When we’re deprived of this contact, we often become lonely, distressed and … Read More

Pinpointing loneliness in the brain

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Scientists identify cells that represent feelings of isolation. Humans, like all social animals, have a fundamental need for contact with others. This deeply ingrained instinct helps us to survive; it’s much easier to find food, shelter, and other necessities with a group than alone. Deprived of human contact, most people become lonely and emotionally distressed. … Read More