As social animals, our health depends on interactions with others. If placed in isolation, without those connections, our physical and mental health take a hit. Millions suffer from chronic isolation; solitary confinement is the extreme example. The number of people held in solitary varies widely around the world but is nowhere greater than in the US. In the US some 80,000 people spend days, even years, without any physical contact from others.
Michael Zigmond, professor of neurology at the University of Pittsburgh, discusses the health effects of this kind of isolation.
This video is part of a series on Solitary Confinement, presented at Neuroscience 2018 for the Social Issues Roundtable.
Note: Stephanie Cacioppo, assistant professor of in the department of psychiatry and behavioral neuroscience at the University of Chicago, was also a presenter at this panel, however, she declined to have her talk distributed to the public.