October 26, 2013
Brain Painkillers Released In Response To Social Rejection

Some people have brains that do a better job of killing the pain of rejection.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me," goes the playground rhyme that's supposed to help children endure taunts from classmates. But a new study suggests that there's more going on inside our brains when someone snubs us and that the brain may have its own way of easing social pain.

The findings, recently published in Molecular Psychiatry by a University of Michigan Medical School team, show that the brain's natural painkiller system responds to social rejection not just physical injury.

What's more, people who score high on a personality trait called resilience the ability to adjust to environmental change had the highest amount of natural painkiller activation.

The large role that genetics plays in contributing to resilience suggests that it should be possible some day to use gene therapy to make one less unhappy when socially or romantically rejected.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2013 October 26 01:20 PM 

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