Social modulation of ageing: Mechanisms, ecology, evolution

Tyler P. Quigley, Gro V. Amdam

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Human life expectancy increases, but the disease-free part of lifespan (healthspan) and the quality of life in old people may not show the same development. The situation poses considerable challenges to healthcare systems and economies, and calls for new strategies to increase healthspan and for sustainable future approaches to elder care. This call has motivated innovative research on the role of social relationships during ageing. Correlative data from clinical surveys indicate that social contact promotes healthy ageing, and it is time to reveal the causal mechanisms through experimental research. The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster is a prolific model animal, but insects with more developed social behaviour can be equally instrumental for this research. Here, we discuss the role of social contact in ageing, and identify lines of study where diverse insect models can help uncover the mechanisms that are involved. This article is part of the theme issue 'Ageing and sociality: why, when and how does sociality change ageing patterns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number20190738
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Issue number1823
StatePublished - 2021


  • Cognitive function
  • Health
  • Inflammation
  • Nutrition
  • Physical disability
  • Social contact

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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