As we have all learned (possibly painfully) over the course of the ongoing pandemic, social isolation can have strong effects on every one of us. 

University of Kansas McNair Scholar, Erika Lobati, is currently double-majoring in psychology and film and media studies and finds passion in combining the two. Through a research grant provided by the university, Lobati did just that with the creation of her first podcast: Mental Media. 

Lobati created this podcast in order to explore the intersection of psychology and different forms of media and to share insight with those who are interested in how they interact with one another. 

In her first episode, Lobati will be discussing a reality TV show called Solitary, in which nine contestants are placed in pods, fully isolated from one another for the entirety of the show. 

“I am going to be drawing connections between the psychology of the contestants on the show and scientific and historical studies about the ramifications of social isolation,” Lobati said. “I will even connect that to quarantine times right now and being in the middle of a pandemic.”

Lobati interviewed two of the show’s contestants to gain further insight into how their experience affected them. Two “bonus” episodes will be included which will feature her full interviews with the contestants. 

The first episode of Lobati’s Mental Media will be released on February 15th, 2021 and features original music from KU student Swade Simpson. Mental Media will be available wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts!  

Follow this link to listen to the podcast trailer: https://open.spotify.com/show/0xyVfOjlF0rwxW8beNBdJf?si=pMgdqC_1QEufKNpVlgAWMw

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