Social Rejections may be much painful than Physical Pain

nullSocial Rejection Shares Somatosensory Representations With Physical Pain,” by Ethan F. Kross, Marc G. Berman, Walter Mischel, Edward E. Smith and Tor D. Wager; published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Most people have the experience of being ostracized in a group throughout their life. I remembered one time on the basketball court, my friends didn’t let me play because I am too short. However, I started to grow taller and taller and get better skill and then finally beat those people. But this is not a really intense social rejection. Some people have very intense social rejections that can influence their whole lives. New research shows that the same areas in the brain that reflect physical pain are activated at moments of intense social loss. “When we sat around and thought about the most difficult emotional experiences, we all agreed that it doesn’t get any worse than social rejection,” said the study’s lead author, Ethan F. Kross. The previous research doesn’t have this discovery is because the emotional pain simulated in the previous experiments was not powerful enough to create the response. This time, the team found out that if the emotional pain was painful enough, it can create responses in the physical pain area in our brain. However, throughout this research, the researchers don’t know where the body will feel this physical pain when our brain is affected by the emotional pain.

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