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


Huberman Lab

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.

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(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


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