Feeling close to other people encourage being healthy while feeling disconnected from them might compromise physical and mental health. No matter what age you are, people need other people to share their ideas, emotions, and to feel happy as well. Each and every life span, face-to-face relation provides benefits to our brain. Doing any activities with surrounding people make you healthier than lonely people. However, nowadays, people are out of touch with each other because of COVID-19. Thus, this disconnection with family, friends, or other people is created depressed feelings due to our loneliness. How does your brain feel that you are depressed? Although the answer is unclear yet, researchers are thinking that it is related to medial prefrontal cortex abnormal activity.
The region called medial prefrontal cortexes (MPFC) maintains a structured map of a social circle of person, based on closeness. While people think about themselves and close relationships, this region is activated and the researcher imaged to understand the changing of this area. People having close friendships have the same brain pattern with their friends however, lonely people have a different pattern to others because of thinking about themselves more than others.
Researchers thought that if MPFC organizes self and others intimacy, the loneliness might be linked with this area. Since lonelier have different brain patterns, we can say lonelier have a lonelier brain pattern.
People having a strong relationship with their family and friends help their thinking ability in later life and slow down cognitive decline. Researchers think that a close relationship reduces the risk of dementia. Furthermore, the number, type, quality, and purpose of social connection are crucial to enhance brain function and health. Although scientists don’t understand how to enhance the brain function with the social network, a meaningful relationship provides a buffer effect to detrimental conditions such as stress due to cognitive reserve. The main advice about healthy brain function is that people should improve the reserve of thinking abilities during their lives.
As stated above, if people have a social brain, their cognitive functions are slow down decline. However, there is a natural period in people’s life such as retirement, epidemic, and bereavement and thus, people are going to be disconnected from others. For instance, nowadays, most people have been laid up with the epidemic, COVID-19. This situation causes feeling alone themselves and people might get depressed. To cope with this bad situation, psychologists give some advice such as being in contact with friends via digital contacts, caring for a cat, a dog or a bird in the home, helping others through formal or informally organization, and volunteering opportunities.
Courtney, A. L., & Meyer, M. L. (2020). Self-other representation in the social brain reflects social connection. The Journal of Neuroscience, JN–RM–2826