In Episode 5 of the Brain with David Eagleman, we look at how the Brain relies on interactions with other brains in order to grow and develop. We are born with social needs and tendencies, and deprivation of this can lead to significant psychological issues in which the brain fails to function normally. The pain we feel when we are rejected by a social group is the same neurologically that we experience with physical pain. An incredible case study looks at Sarah Shourd who was kept in solitary confinement for over a year when she was captured and imprisoned by the Iranian military. This psychological form of torture is designed to starve our brains of information and interaction, the long-term effects of which can be very damaging.
In the second part of the episode, Dr Egaleman also shows us the effects that groups can have on our behaviour, and for every in group, there is an outgroup. This has lead to some of the most despicable crimes against humanity throughout history from the Holocaust of Nazi Germany to the genocides of Bosnia and Herzegovina. He then looks at some of the precautionary measures we as a society can take to stop such events reoccurring.