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Dr. Keely Muscatell describes research on how the immune system responds to social experiences and shapes our perceptions of the social world. The immune system is listening to what’s happening in our social worlds. Based on what it hears, it adjusts its activity. The immune system can signal us to socially withdraw from strangers, and draw toward those we are close to, who can provide us with comfort and care.

Dr. Keely Muscatell is an Assistant Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She leads the Carolina Social Neuroscience and Health Lab where together with a team of students, she studies the interconnections between social experiences, the brain, and the immune system. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

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