It's possible to be completely isolated and feel invigorated.
It is also possible to be surrounded by a crowd or be accompanied by close friends and feel lonely.
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Objectively measuring loneliness in the brain, as opposed to asking people how they feel, could give clarity on, for example, the connection between loneliness and depression. It could also shed some light on addiction.
The ability to measure loneliness may make it far easier to design targeted interventions.
Studies revealed that the circuits of neurons that store our earliest memories are not eliminated by neurogenesis—the growth of whole new neurons - but that they are wholly restructured, making it difficult to recall first memories.
This means that some childhood memories are missing while others persist in a patchy way.
As people get older, they often lose their motivation to learn new things. This get-up-and-go attitude is vital for our social well-being and learning.
In order to survive, we need to be able to learn what is good for us, and what is bad for us. But, a person may value a reward so highly that the risk of experiencing a possible cost is ignored. Another may wish to avoid the cost to the exclusion of all rewards. This may result in reward-driven learning in some, and cost-driven learning in others.
At all stages of life, how we do friendship has to do with our natural desire for sociability and varies from person to person.
Friendship is a lifelong endeavor, although not everyone realizes it. If you only invest in friendships when your family and professional obligations slow, you will be at a disadvantage.