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Dr. Kay Tye: The Biology of Social Interactions and Emotions

Huberman Lab

Scicomm Media

Science, Life Sciences, Health & Fitness

4.923.3K Ratings

🗓️ 5 February 2024

⏱️ 151 minutes

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In this episode, my guest is Dr. Kay Tye, PhD, Professor of Systems Neurobiology at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Investigator. We discuss the neural circuit basis of social interactions and loneliness. We also discuss how animals and people establish themselves in a group hierarchy by rank and how the brain responds to dominance and subordination. Much of our discussion relates to how social media impacts our sense of social connectedness or lack thereof. The topics covered in this episode are directly relevant to anyone interested in the neuroscience of mental health, work-life balance, abundance versus scarcity mindset, and interpersonal dynamics. For show notes, including referenced articles and additional resources, please visit hubermanlab.com. Thank you to our sponsors AG1: https://drinkag1.com/huberman Eight Sleep: https://www.eightsleep.com/huberman Levels: https://levels.link/huberman LMNT: https://drinklmnt.com/huberman InsideTracker: https://insidetracker.com/huberman Momentous: https://livemomentous.com/huberman Timestamps (00:00:00) Dr. Kay Tye (00:02:39) Sponsors: Eight Sleep, Levels & LMNT (00:06:40) Amygdala; “Valence” (00:12:43) Novelty; Reward & Punishment Response (00:20:06) Amygdala & Hunger; Social Interaction (00:26:21) Social Media & Social Connection; Tool: Email & Time Management (00:35:03) Sponsor: AG1 (00:36:30) Social Media; Friction & Feedback, Leadership (00:43:44) Social Isolation, Harlow Experiments, “Loneliness Neurons” (00:51:47) Social Homeostasis, COVID-19 Pandemic & Loneliness (01:01:29) Quality of Social Contact, Social Homeostasis, Social Media (01:08:40) Sponsor: InsideTracker (01:09:42) Social Media, Relationships; Social Isolation & Exclusion (01:18:26) Empathy: Friend vs. Foe (01:28:40) Background & Empathy, Diversity, Emotional Regulation (01:34:34) Abundance vs. Scarcity Mindset (01:37:22) Social Rank & Hierarchy, Sibling Order, Development (01:45:54) Dynamic Hierarchy; Dominants vs. Subordinates; Mentors (01:55:32) Psychedelics: Research & Mechanisms; Psilocybin (02:06:28) Work-Life Balance, Fitness & Extracurriculars (02:11:56) Personal Life, Diversity, Happiness; Typical Day (02:15:42) Science & Academia; Future Directions (02:23:48) Research & Science Outreach (02:28:48) Zero-Cost Support, Spotify & Apple Reviews, YouTube Feedback, Sponsors, Momentous, Social Media, Neural Network Newsletter Disclaimer

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Welcome to the Huberman Lab Podcast, where we discuss science and science-based tools for everyday life.


I'm Andrew Huberman and I'm a professor of neurobiology and ophthalmology at Stanford School of Medicine.


My guest today is Dr. K. Tyne is a professor of neuroscience at the Sulk Institute for Biological Studies.


She did her training at MIT and at Stanford and is currently an investigator with the


Howard Hughes Medical Institute, which is a highly curated group of individuals who are incentivized to do high-risk, high-reward work


and pioneer new areas of biological study.


Throughout her career, Dr. Kaitai has made fundamental breakthroughs into our understanding of the brain, including demonstrating


that a brain area called the amygdala, which most people associate with fear and threat detection,


is actually involved in reinforcement of behaviors and experiences that are positive and involve reward.


Her current work focuses on various aspects of social interaction, including what happens when we feel lonely or isolated.


Indeed, today Kay Ty will tell us about her discovery of so-called loneliness neurons.


Neurons that give us that sense that we are not being on homeostasis, which is our sense that we are experiencing enough, not enough, or just


enough social interaction irrespective of whether or not we are an introvert or an extrovert.


We also talk about social hierarchies and social rank, how people and animals tear


out into so-called alphas and betas, subordinates and dominance, etc. in all sorts of social interactions.


I think everyone will find that discussion especially interesting.


And we talk about the role of social media and online interactions and why despite extensive interaction with many


many individuals those social media and online interactions can often leave


us feeling deprived in specific ways. We talk about the neurochemical, the neural circuit, and some of the


hormonal aspects of social interactions. It's a discussion that by the end will have you thinking


far more deeply about what is a social interaction and why certain


social interactions leave us feeling so good, others feeling sort of me, and why other


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