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Brain Science Advances

Keywords

social pain, physical pain, pain matrix

Abstract

People often experience two types of pain: social pain and physical pain. The former is related to psychological distance from other people or social groups, whereas the latter is associated with actual or potential tissue damage. Social pain caused by interpersonal interactions causes negative feelings in individuals and has negative consequences to the same degree as physical pain. Various studies have shown an interaction between social pain and physical pain, not only in behavioral performance but also in activities within shared neural regions. Accordingly, the present paper reviews: (1) the interaction between social pain and physical pain in individuals’ behavioral performances; and (2) the overlap in neural circuitry as regards the processing of social pain and physical pain. Understanding the relationship between social pain and physical pain might provide new insights into the nature of these two types of pain, and thus may further contribute to the treatment of illnesses associated with both types of painful experience.

Publisher

Tsinghua University Press

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