The new research, conducted by Professor Cacioppo and colleagues, compared the brains of lonely and non-lonely people.
Loneliness makes the areas of the brain that are vigilant for threat more active, a new study finds.
This can make people who are socially isolated more abrasive and defensive — it’s a form of self-preservation.
This may be why lonely people can get marginalised.
The present study provides the first evidence that negative social stimuli are differentiated from negative nonsocial stimuli more quickly in the lonely than nonlonely brains. Given the timing of this differentiation in the brain and the fact that participants were performing a Stroop task, these results also suggest that these differences reflect implicit rather than explicit attentional differences between lonely and nonlonely individuals.