While many studies have found an association between social support and better cognitive functioning, it's hard to tell which one causes the other. A 2008 study that looks at retired people found that memory among people who were least socially integrated declined twice as much as in people who were most socially integrated. Researchers have suggested that socializing may help our minds because it encourages people to take better care of themselves, reduces stress, and releases beneficial neurohormones, stemming from the emotions usually caused by being with loved ones.
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