April 28, 2012

all lonely peopleThe problem of feeling lonely and being lonely has been studied and discussed for many centuries. Remember The Beatles: “Look at all the lonely people”? Loneliness and social isolation are really very hard to cope with for all of us without exception. Loneliness affects the way we behave and think, the way we understand this world and our place in it. According to the findings of a group of experts at the University of Chicago published three years ago in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, social isolation also has negative effects on how people’s brain work. In particular, social isolation may lead to finding comfort in non-social rewards, and the scientists explain this phenomenon by decreased function of the ventral striatum (the area of the brain associated with rewards) in all lonely people. Read the rest of this entry »