Did that pick-up line fail again?
Boy, that's really gotta hurt bad
Monday, October 13, 2003
Anyone who's had a broken heart knows the pain is real, but now a team
of researchers at UCLA have found physical evidence to prove it.
The part of the brain that registers injuries ¼
the anterior cingulate cortex or ACC ¼ reacts the same way to
a punch in the nose as it does to a social snubbing. The researchers,
led by scientist Naomi I. Eisenberger, discovered this through
an experiment in which test subjects were made to believe they
were being excluded from a computer game.
Apparently, exclusion from others
is perceived by the brain as being harmful to survival. The need
to be accepted might be as important to humans as not getting
their hand stuck in a vise.
If the pain of rejection is the same
to a person's brain as the pain of getting into a brawl, maybe
now people can be prosecuted for "forgetting" to send
out that party invitation, or men who don't call the next day
could face jail time.
Seriously, the study is important
because it reveals the very real impact of emotional pain on the
human body. It's already understood how such pain contributes
to stress and depression, and now this finding could lead to an
even deeper insight into the physical effects of things such as
teasing and bullying.