What changes does the brain undergo when we are alone versus being in a group of people? "As much as it’s been exalted, our understanding of how solitude actually works has remained rather abstract, and modern psychology—where you might expect the answers to lie — has tended to treat aloneness more as a problem than a solution. That was what Christopher Long found back in 1999, when as a graduate student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst he started working on a project to precisely define solitude and isolate ways in which it could be experienced constructively."