One of the most pervasive recommendations these days centers on the benefits related to socially distancing ourselves from others. And while this may be a meaningful recommendation, an unfortunate consequence seems to be increasing social isolation.
Social isolation begets loneliness, and loneliness is pervasive in modern society. Research reveals profound relationships between levels of loneliness and risk for various health conditions. Important for our current experience with COVID-19 is the relationship between social isolation and immune dysfunction.
In today’s podcast, we interview Dr. Danilo Bzdok and Dr. Robin Dunbar, who authored a new review entitled The Neurobiology of Social Distance. It’s a fascinating exploration of the importance of our social integration and our maintenance of social capital.
Here is the abstract from this publication:
Never before have we experienced social isolation on such a massive scale as we have in response to COVID-19. Yet we know that the social environment has a dramatic impact on our sense of life satisfaction and well-being. In times of distress, crisis, or disaster, human resilience depends on the richness and strength of social connections, as well as active engagement in groups and communities. Over recent years, evidence emerging from various disciplines has made it abundantly clear: loneliness may be the most potent threat to survival and longevity. Here, we highlight the benefits of social bonds, choreographies of bond creation and maintenance, as well as the neurocognitive basis of social isolation and its deep consequences for mental and physical health.
This podcast is very special for us because this is the 100th episode of the The Empowering Neurologist, we are joined by Dr. Austin Perlmutter, and this is a fundamentally important topic that we get to explore with two of the most highly respected researchers in this field on the planet. Enjoy.