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Your immune system can make you feel sad, and that's a good thing

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Natural Intelligence.

While your body fights germs, you feel depressed, anti-social, even lethargic. Social neuroscientist Keely Muscatell offers an evolutionary explanation for why your mood and immune system are linked.

About Keely Muscatell

Keely Muscatell is a social neuroscientist and psychologist from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research explores how social experiences impact physical health. As a pioneer in the field of social psychoneuroimmunology, she investigates how our thoughts, emotions and social interactions are intimately linked with our physiological responses. As the director of the Social Neuroscience and Health Laboratory at UNC Chapel Hill, she not only conducts cutting-edge research but also mentors a diverse cohort of doctoral and undergraduate students, shaping the trajectory of future psychology and neuroscience trailblazers.

This segment of the TED Radio Hour was produced by Matthew Cloutier and edited by Sanaz Meshkinpour and Manoush Zomorodi. You can follow us on Facebook @TEDRadioHour and email us at

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Manoush Zomorodi is the host of TED Radio Hour. She is a journalist, podcaster and media entrepreneur, and her work reflects her passion for investigating how technology and business are transforming humanity.
Matthew Cloutier
Matthew Cloutier is a producer for TED Radio Hour. While at the show, he has focused on stories about science and the natural world, ranging from operating Mars rovers to exploring Antarctica's hidden life. He has also pitched these kinds of episodes, including "Through The Looking Glass" and "Migration."
Sanaz Meshkinpour
[Copyright 2024 NPR]