An experiment with fruit flies helped scientists to conclude about the dangers of loneliness for humans
A group of American scientists conducted an experiment on fruit flies. With their help, experts have proven the negative impact of loneliness on a person. The results of the study, published in the journal Nature , found that the main reason a person has trouble sleeping and gaining weight while being alone is a change in the way neurons work.
For the experiment, flies were used, since these insects are social creatures. Scientists divided them into two groups, one of which was kept alone. It turned out that even in small groups, Drosophila felt quite normal. And those who were in isolation began to eat much more and sleep less.
The article says that in the heads of isolated flies, the activity of 214 genes changed, but the scientists focused on only two: the gene for the hormone limostatin and the gene for the hormone drosulfakinin, which control feeding behavior: when a fly feels hungry, the level of the former rises, while the level of the latter falls. During social isolation with hormones, the same thing happened, as if Drosophila began to starve – although she had enough food in the “solitary confinement”.
Thus, the researchers were able to partially decipher the mechanism that links the stress of social isolation with changes in behavior. Further experiments will show how far these results can be extended to humans.
Meanwhile, psychologists note that the feeling of loneliness most often appears in a person due to the fast pace of life, especially in large cities. You can get rid of a depressing feeling if you fill your free time with live communication.