Researchers Reveal How Loneliness Manifests in the Brain

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A new study discovered a certain type of signature in the brains of those who experience frequent feelings of loneliness. This signature makes them stand out from others who don’t feel lonely as often. In lonely people, researchers noticed variations in the volume of certain brain regions and differences in how those regions communicate with one another. The study was published in the journal Nature Communications on December 15, 2020.

Researchers analyzed the MRI data, genetics, and self-reported psychological assessments of around 40,000 middle-aged and older adults for the study. They volunteered to have this information stored in the UK Biobank, an open-access database that health scientists worldwide have access to. Then, they compared the MRI data of the volunteers who experienced frequent feelings of loneliness to those who did not.

Researchers discovered a few key differences…

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