Research Spotlights

Our research spotlights focus on behavioral and social sciences funded by the National Institutes of Health. These articles are for informational purposes only. They do not signify endorsement of specific studies or offer medical or treatment advice.

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Research Spotlights

Researchers have found that the strength of young people’s brain responses to social rewards influenced their feelings of social satisfaction and loneliness during the COVID-19 pandemic, a period with limited in-person interactions. Adolescents aged 10 to 17 whose brains are highly sensitive to social rewards felt lonelier when they had fewer in-person and virtual interactions than those whose brains are less sensitive to social rewards.

elderly wife consoling husband

Researchers have developed a promising new framework for studying the link between social disconnection and poor physical health in people living with serious mental illnesses (SMI). Drawing on published research from animal models and data from the general population, this framework builds on existing social isolation and loneliness models by integrating insights from evolutionary and cognitive theories. This research was supported by the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research and the National Institute of Mental Health.

March 2024 Research Spotlight
Long-term nursing home residents with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) who experienced “contextual isolation” were more likely to have pain relative to those who did not experience any contextual isolation.
Deep Neural Network

Deep Neural Network algorithm successfully predicts incident cardiovascular disease in non-Hispanic Black adults, indicating significance of social determinants of health

Black-White residential segregation and cardiovascular mortality rates

sound waves

The roles of aging and reward sensitivity on auditory and reward networks

ABCD joins the band: the shared musical environment during childhood, language, and executive function

How infant-directed song captures attention