Loneliness and isolation are increasing in societies all around the world. This development has recently been further intensified due to the world-wide social distancing rules in response to the outbreak of COVID-19 with potential long-term effects of disrupted social connection for years to come. However, the effects of isolation on cognition and the human brain are not clear. Importantly, while many studies focus on loneliness in elderly people, a recent large survey found that 16 to 24-year-olds reported the highest loneliness levels. In this talk, Dr. Livia Tomova will present results from her research on the effects of social stress, social isolation and loneliness on the human brain. She will also discuss how social isolation might affect development during adolescence – a developmental period in life characterized by increased sensitivity to social stimuli.
Dr. Livia Tomova is interested in how stress, loneliness and social isolation affect the brain and mind, especially during adolescence. Her PhD research at the University of Vienna focused on the effects of acute stress on social cognition and the underlying brain processes. Dr. Tomova completed 3 years of postdoctoral training in Cognitive Neuroscience at MIT investigating how deprivation of social needs affects the human brain. Dr. Tomova was awarded a Henslow College Research Fellowship at Hughes Hall starting in 2020 during which she aims to identify brain markers predicting vulnerability to the adverse effects of isolation and loneliness in adolescents and young adults. She is also interested in investigating whether and how social media can fulfill social needs.
In English, interpretation to Bulgarian provided.
The event will be broadcast live online only in front of the audience at Sofia Tech Park.
Due to the epidemic situation, changes in the programme may occur – both in the dates and times of the events and in the mode of delivery (digital or live). Please follow the festival page for the latest information.