Forced Social Isolation Causes Neural Craving Similar to Hunger

first_imgInterestingly, the variability across participants was also partially explained by the variability in pre-existing chronic levels of loneliness. Participants with higher levels of chronic loneliness at baseline reported less craving for social contact after 10 hours of isolation in response to the social stimuli, and showed a muted response in their midbrain in response to the social cues after social isolation (they also showed reduced midbrain responses to food cues after fasting). This finding is consistent with prior research showing that chronic loneliness is associated with reduced motivation to engage socially with others. Surprisingly, while the physical and mental health effects of loneliness are well documented, there is a lack of research on the consequences of severe forced isolation. If the need for connection really is a basic need, then its deprivation should show similar effects on the brain and behavior as the deprivation of other basic needs such as food and sleep. Critically, the researchers found similar midbrain activity in response to food cues after fasting and social cues after isolation. The response was variable across participants, and those who reported more social craving after the social isolation period showed a larger brain response to the social stimuli. What about social interactions? For social animals, it would make sense that social interactions would be a primary reward. However, so far such research has primarily been conducted on mice. In 2016, Gillian Matthews and colleagues published a paper showing that after 24 hours of social isolation, dopamine neurons in the midbrain were activated when mice sought social interaction. These dopamine neurons showed similar activation patterns to other cravings. It appears that the acute social isolation in these mice led to an aversive “loneliness-like” state that increased motivation for social engagement. Nevertheless, researchers have questioned whether these findings would apply to humans, especially since it’s not possible to assess whether a mouse subjectively feels lonely. Livia Tomova, a postdoctoral fellow in the Saxelab at MIT, was inspired by this earlier research on mice and pitched to Rebecca Saxe the idea of trying to replicate the findings in humans. The researchers had a number of methodological challenges to overcome, however. The need for connection– to form and maintain at least a minimal number of positive, stable, intimate relationships– is a fundamental need that affects our whole being, permeating our entire suite of emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. While voluntary solitude can be great fodder for creativity, and being alone doesn’t necessarily indicate loneliness, what happens when people are forced into isolation and are severely deprived of this fundamental human need? The feeling of “wanting” something has repeatedly been shown to increase dopamine transmission in the brain reward circuit (see here and here). This circuit consists of the dopamingeric midbrain and the striatum. These areas are particularly active in response to images of food when hungry, to drug-related images for those who are addicted, and people with Internet Gaming Disorder who are deprived of gaming (see here, here, and here). Another methodological limitation is the measurement of neural responses in the relevant dopaminergic midbrain regions. This is a real technical challenge. The relevant areas are really tiny, right next to the sphenoid sinus and are prone to distortions and signal loss. To address this challenge, the researchers used an optimized imaging protocol and a newly available midbrain atlas to identify the relevant areas in the brain of each individual participant. … Read the whole story: Scientific American More of our Members in the Media > After only ten hours of social isolation– and even despite people knowing exactly when their deprivation would end– people reported substantially more social craving, loneliness, discomfort, dislike of isolation, and decreased happiness than they did at baseline. Similarly, the same findings were seen after ten hours of food fasting. For one, a single day of social isolation is not that long for a human, and being alone doesn’t necessarily translate to feeling social isolated. Solitude can be restorative. To address this challenge, the researchers had 40 socially-connected healthy human adults spend 10 hours (9am to 7pm) alone, with no social interaction and no other social stimulation (e.g., twitter, email, reading fiction). … Finally, the researchers were unsure whether they could actually measure signals associated with craving, although they were optimistic considering that in the substania nigra part of the reward circuit, about 70% of the neurons are dopamingergic! To assess craving, the researchers had participants view images of their favorite social activities, favorite foods, and a pleasant baseline condition (flowers) to tease apart the brain responses to these differing stimuli. Undergraduate researchers spent hours scouring thorough databases of open source images from pexels to custom tailor pictures of favorite foods and activities for each individual participant.last_img read more

Stadler opens Berlin assembly plant

first_imgGERMANY: The Stadler Pankow GmbH subsidiary of Stadler Rail officially opened a new rolling stock final plant in a former concrete factory in the Hohenschönhausen area of Berlin on September 5.Stadler has 830 staff in Germany, 70 at Hohenschönhausen. The company is investing €10m expanding capacity in Berlin, which Director Michael Daum said offers a ‘skilled and highly qualified workforce’. Stadler hopes to create 300 new jobs in Berlin and Brandenburg by 2013. ‘Berlin’s industry is fit for the future,’ said Mayor Klaus Wowereit. ‘After radical restructuring, it is now contributing again to the economic growth of our capital city. We are delighted that innovative and internationally competitive businesses are locating to Berlin. They profit from an excellent local research environment’.last_img read more

Goodwill Primary School receives generator from Whitchurch

first_img Share Share Hurricane MariaLocalNewsRecovery Goodwill Primary School receives generator from Whitchurch by: Dominica Vibes News – December 12, 2017 Share Tweetcenter_img One generator was donated to the Goodwill Primary School by Whitchurch on Monday, at a handing over ceremony held at the school grounds on Monday 11 December 2017. Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development, Chandler Hyacinth expressed her thanks to Whitchurch for their donation, noting that the Goodwill Primary will not be the only school benefitting from these donations. “We have to thank cooperate companies like Whitchurch for what they do. Goodwill Primary School is not the only school that they will be working with. We are working with other schools. We have received a number of generators from a number of institutions and we are spreading and we are spreading them as much as possible to ensure that all our primary and all our secondary schools have generators. We hope that the addition to the Goodwill Primary School will certainly help to advance teaching –learning environment as you prepare for the entry of students here at the Goodwill Primary,” Hyacinth stated. Director of HHV Whitchurch, Damian Aird stated that he is elated and humble to be able to contribute to assisting the students in their education post Maria. “We are very, very happy and elated that we could provide these generators especially for the school children. They are the next generation and in spite what they have been through we all have to assist in their wellbeing. So I am humbled to be able to make a small gift that will benefit the children of the various schools. Ensure that they are put into use as soon as possible so that the students can get back to where they were before the storm,” Aird said. 338 Views   no discussions Sharing is caring!last_img read more

High school bowling postseason awards

first_imgBOYS5A MVP: LADARIUS WILLIAMSON, PARKWAY4A co-MVPS: ALEX REINE, LOYOLA AUSTIN SEPEDA, BENTONAll-DISTRICT 5AFIRST TEAMLaDarius Williamson, ParkwayEarl Raymond, ByrdChandler Sumpter, ParkwayDestin Meza, ParkwayAlex Bequette, ParkwayJustin Shea, ParkwayDominic Rivers, AirlineSECOND TEAMChristian Silba, HaughtonChase Colvin, ByrdJaylon Ellison. AirlineBrian Fielding, AirlineJohnathan Brown, HaughtonBrandon Simmons, HaughtonALL-DISTRICT 4AFIRST TEAMAlex Reine, LoyolaAustin Sepeda, BentonTavarius Edwards, MindenAlex Warren, LoyolaJohn Norris, BentonHarrison Hall, LoyolaParker King, Benton High SchoolSECOND TEAMJeremiah Richardson, MindenLouis McCaa, LoyolaBen Montgomery, BentonAndrew Benner, LoyolaChris Whisnant, BossierJervae Winans, MindenHONORABLE MENTIONCameron Silba, Haughton 5ALogan Ernest, Benton 4AState Advancer: Destin Meza, ParkwayGIRLSMVP: NICOLE TAYLOR, PARKWAY ALL-DISTRICT FIRST TEAMNicole Taylor, ParkwayCeleste Thedford, ByrdTrista Quinley, AirlineKatie Black, ParkwayCaitlin Lawrence, BentonTraclyn Bell, ParkwaySECOND TEAMAlise Stephens, ByrdBailey Russell, AirlineAshley Gardner, ParkwayMadison Raab, AirlinePearl Merry, ParkwayCourtney Reide, AirlineHONORABLE MENTIONNeveah Owens, LoyolaShamari Lay, BossierKyla Gross, MindenState Advancer: Trista Quinley, AirlineAwards list courtesy Holiday LanesPremier Diamond BoutiqueHong Kong’s first lab-grown diamond empirePremier Diamond Boutique|SponsoredSponsoredUndoNews gadgetThis watch takes the whole country by storm! it’s price? Ridiculous!News gadget|SponsoredSponsoredUndoTheTopFiveVPNThe Secret Netflix Doesn’t Want You To Know To Unblock RestrictionsTheTopFiveVPN|SponsoredSponsoredUndoPerfect-Dating.comAre You Ready to Meet Cool Guys in Tung Chung?|SponsoredSponsoredUndoBored ArticlesTake A Look At These Fun At Home Kids ActivitiesBored Articles|SponsoredSponsoredUndoHealthSupportMag.comHow to Continually Motivate Yourself to Work|SponsoredSponsoredUndolast_img read more

Tigers win trial match against Cutters

first_imgRugby League BY SIMON KESLEP Lae Snax Tigers defeated Kimbe Cutters 16-0 on Sunday afternoon at the Peter Humphreys rugby league field in Kimbe, West New Britain. The match provided a good learning point for coach Stanley Tepend (Tigers) and Jessie Alunga (Cutters) as they continue working on finalising their squads before the 2019 Digicel Cup season kicks off. The season is expected to kick off next month with PNG National Rugby League Competition (PNGNRLC) yet to formally announce kick off dates and the official launching. The Tigers managed to score three tries to Towari Keneka and Mark Piti with successful conversions including one unconverted try for Scott Francis. “We see all teams have prepared well, for us, we had the current squad of 28 players and we managed to give all the players a run during the trial,” said Tepend. He said they also focused on giving game-time for their middle forward department and also how players were able to work out their game structure. The Tigers will leave for Lae tomorrow and Tepend said they also aim for one more trial match in the coming weeks. For Cutters, Alunga said they have also identified key areas like weight, height and how competitive it can be including giving opportunity for their halves, backs and forwards to find tune in general play. He said despite the score line, the match provided them the opportunity to work on areas like defence and also attack. The trial attracted rugby league followers especially, Cutters and Tigers supporters, to turn up in numbers before the kick off.last_img read more