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How loneliness reshapes the brain


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Neuroscience suggests that loneliness doesn’t necessarily result from a lack of opportunity to meet others or a fear of social interactions. Instead, circuits in our brain and changes in our behavior can trap us in a catch-22 situation: While we desire connection with others, we view them as unreliable, judgmental and unfriendly. Consequently, we keep our distance, consciously or unconsciously spurning potential opportunities for connections.

Loneliness can be difficult to study empirically because it is entirely subjective. Social isolation, a related condition, is different — it’s an objective measure of how few relationships a person has. The experience of loneliness has to be self-reported, although researchers have developed tools such as the UCLA Loneliness Scale to help with assessing the depths of an individual’s feelings.


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  • 2 weeks later...

So, if you feel lonely, eat magic shrooms.

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I can meet people online and have developed many relationships just as much as I have done in person.

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