Social interactions are critical to nearly every aspect of human health, which has become readily apparent to many of us after nearly two years of lockdowns, social distancing, cancelled travel and curtailed gatherings.
“We’re social beings who crave social connections,” said Utah State University neurobiologist Sara Freeman. “Loss of this contact leads to loneliness, grief and increases our risk of mental and physical distress.”
Freeman studies what happens in the brain as people form social bonds, including bonds strong enough to commit ourselves to one significant other. She also explores why some people experience challenges in forming social attachments.
Freeman presents “The Science of Social Bonds: From Animals to Autism” at USU’s Science Unwrapped at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 25, in the Emert Auditorium, Room ESLC 130, of the Eccles Science Learning Center on campus. Admission is free and all ages are welcome.
Freeman’s Feb. 25 talk will also be livestreamed via AggieCast from the Science Unwrapped website, and will be recorded and posted to the same website for continued viewing convenience.
Guests at the in-person event are encouraged to wear masks and to observe socially distanced seating in the Emert Auditorium.
Due to continuing pandemic conditions, Science Unwrapped is not currently offering in-person learning activities following the talk.
“As we did during our 2020-21 series, we’re offering video learning activities, created by our student and community volunteer groups, on our website,” says Greg Podgorski, associate dean for undergraduate studies and services in the College of Science and Science Unwrapped chair. “Each month, we’ll assess conditions to determine whether or not it’s safe and possible to return to in-person, post-talk learning activities.”
The continuing schedule for Science Unwrapped’s 2021-22 “Science on the Horizon” series is:
Friday, Feb. 25: “The Science of Social Bonds: From Animals to Autism,” Sara Freeman, neuroendocrinologist
Friday, March 18: “What Goes Up, Must Come Down: Cleaning Up the Atmosphere with Geology,” Katie Potter, geoscientist
Friday, April 1: “Electric Avenues: Advancing Sustainability through Powered Infrastructure for Roadway Electrification (ASPIRE), Regan Zane, electrical engineer
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