According to anthropologists, man is an extremely social animal. That is, we are all very dependent on interacting with each other. With a lack of social activity, a person has mental and physical problems.

In a 2020 study, scientists discovered how neural responses in the brain change when a person lacks food and social interaction. It turned out that with loneliness, there are neural reactions similar to those that occur with a feeling of hunger. During social isolation, brain regions associated with drug cravings and hunger were activated in the participants. That is, people forced into isolation are as hungry for social interactions as a hungry person is for food.

Loneliness also increases attention to a person’s need for self-protection and negative social incentives (for example, social threats). In other words, lonely people are more interested in the suffering of others.

Due to a distorted perception of reality, lonely people become very alert to possible threats. As a result, they also ignore the positive aspects of social interaction. This creates a vicious cycle of loneliness.

Also, the brain can shrink due to loneliness. In particular, the field for problem solving and decision making is shrinking. Even in lonely people, levels of BDNF, a protein associated with the growth and development of neurons, were decreased, as one study showed.

Another study of more than 11,000 people found that people with higher levels of social loneliness had reduced memory and cognitive function. Moreover, this decrease was above the average. Another study found that lonely older people often atrophy in certain areas of their brain.

News cannot be equated with a doctor’s prescription. Consult an expert before making a decision.

Source: Ferra

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I am a professional journalist and content creator with extensive experience writing for news websites. I currently work as an author at Gadget Onus, where I specialize in covering hot news topics. My written pieces have been published on some of the biggest media outlets around the world, including The Guardian and BBC News.


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