Matt's Blog

Biological basis of homesickness?

Sun Aug 27 22:46:57 EST 2006

Why do people feel homesick when they move to a new location? Is there a evolutionary explanation? A new location requires finding a new solution to the basic survival needs of food and shelter, plus the need to build up a new protective social network. Check for animal studies where the animals are relocated from their usual environment or social group to a new social group.

Humans are a particularly social animal, and a large amount of the brain's processing power is taken up with modelling the probable behaviour of people within our social circle. Is homesickness a mechanism to try to prevent moving to a new location and having to recalculate the behaviours of your new human environment?



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