Social Rejection Pain Similar to Physical Pain

By  , PTI
May 09, 2011

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woman has a pain Highlights of this article: Feeling of social rejection hurts in the same way as physical pain. A New Study conducted by National Academy of Sciences has found that the brain region that gets activated during physical pain also gets activated during physical pain and hence causes feeling of pain. The current study has also established a neural overlap relation between both of these experiences in brain regions.



Washington, Mar 29 (PTI) Intense feelings of social rejection and physical pain hurt in the same way, a new study has claimed.         

The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that the brain regions that get active when one experiences physical pain are also activated during intense experiences of social rejection.        

"These results give new meaning to the idea that social rejection 'hurts'," said Ethan Kross, a social   psychologist at the University of Michigan and the lead author of the study on relationship problems.         

"On the surface, spilling a hot cup of coffee on yourself and thinking about how rejected you feel when you look at the picture of a person that you recently experienced an unwanted break-up with may seem to elicit very different types of pain.         

"But this research shows that they may be even more similar than initially thought."         

Past studies have shown that the brain regions support the emotionally distressing feelings that accompany the experience of both physical pain and social rejection.         

But, the current study is the first known to establish that there is neural overlap between both of these experiences in brain regions -- secondary somatosensory cortex and the dorsal posterior insula -- which become active when people experience painful sensations in their body.         

For the study, the researchers recruited 40 people who experienced an unwanted romantic break-up within the past six months, and who indicated that thinking about their break-up experience led them to feel intensely rejected.

Read more articles on Relationship Problems.



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