Groups such as RIKEN have announced that they have identified the neural reactions that occur in the brain in mouse experiments when they feel lonely and seek companions.


By preventing the reaction from occurring, the behavior of trying to contact friends is reduced, which leads to the elucidation of the mechanism of the brain that feels lonely.

Mice have the same behavior of seeking companions as humans, and it is known that loneliness exacerbates the disease.



In an attempt to elucidate this mechanism, groups such as RIKEN isolated female mice from their peer cages and investigated the brain response in detail.

As a result, nerve cells that produce a molecule called "amyrin" in the "central preoptic area" that works when raising children in the brain are isolated within 2 days. It was halved, almost disappeared after 6 days, and when I returned it to my friends, it returned to normal in about 2 weeks.



Even if the companion can be seen through the fence, the number of these cells decreases, and it is necessary to maintain the cell not only by smell and sight but also by touching the companion.



Also, by artificially disabling amyrin, the behavior of biting the fence in search of friends was reduced to about a quarter, so I found a part of the mechanism of the brain that makes me feel lonely and seek friends. It is said that.

"As research progresses, we may be able to learn more about how humans seek social involvement and the impact of loneliness," said Kimi Kuroda, team leader at RIKEN.

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