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Psycho-Endocrine Effects of Perceptual and Social Isolation

HAROLD PERSKY, PhD; MARVIN ZUCKERMAN, PhD; GOPAL K. BASU, MS; DORIS THORNTON, BS
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1966;15(5):499-505. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1966.01730170051008.
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IN A RECENT paper, Zuckerman et al1 reported that young men who were socially and perceptually isolated for eight hours developed more anxiety, depression, and priinary process thinking, exhibited a lower breathing rate, excreted more 17-ketosteroids and 17-ketogenic steroids, and secreted higher plasma levels of thyrotropin than they did while they were socially isolated without perceptual restriction for the same length of time.

The endocrine results obtained in that study suggested that social plus perceptual isolation resulted in a total activation of the anterior pituitary gland. Furthermore, the results obtained in the short time period of eight hours suggested that more prolonged periods of perceptual isolation might lead to even greater hormonal differences between perceptual and social isolation.

In the present study, the psycho-endocrine effects of increasing the duration of isolation from 8 to 24 hours are reported for similar male subjects.

Methods  The basic design of the present

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