3 years ago

Explainer: What Loneliness Looks Like in the Human Brain

TomoNews US
TomoNews US
HANOVER, NEW HAMPSHIRE — Lonely people develop neural patterns in their brains that are distinct from the patterns of sociable people, according to new research.

The brain patterns linked to loneliness are detected in the front part of the brain called the medial prefrontal cortex.

According to the paper in the Journal of Neuroscience, the Dartmouth College research team used fMRI to map out the brain of 50 volunteers, including college students and community members from 18 to 47 years of age.

The scientists asked the subjects to think about other people, including celebrities. The brain scans then revealed that lonely people's brains create different mental images of themselves and other people.

When less lonely people are asked to cogitate about themselves and other people, the scans show that sociable brains think about the self and the other in basically similar ways.