How Do Friendship And Loneliness Affect Your Brain?
Research shows friendships can make you healthier and happier, while loneliness is a risk factor for early mortality. What biological mechanisms mediate our ability and desire to connect with others?
Though the scientific study of friendship is difficult and relatively new, it's understood that social connections are linked to positive health outcomes.
More than one in five American adults say they often experience loneliness, according to survey results from the Kaiser Family Foundation. Older adults are particularly at risk for the detrimental effects of involuntary social isolation.
What determines someone's ability to develop and maintain positive social ties? Are certain demographics more likely to experience loneliness? What can help socially isolated individuals cope with loneliness or form friendships later in life?
What are the short- and long-term physical and mental health effects of loneliness? What else does neuroscientific research tell us about how friendship and loneliness can affect the brain?
The Mind Science Foundation hosts a lecture by Dr. Michael Platt on the "Neuroscience of Friendship" 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 12, at Pearl Stable.
- Dr. Michael Platt, neuroscientist at the University of Pennsylvania
- Julianne Holt-Lunstad, PhD, professor of psychology and neuroscience at Brigham Young University
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*This interview was recorded on Tuesday, November 12.