Naomi I. Eisenberger, Matthew D. Lieberman, Kipling D. Williams Tyson Miao Social bonds are important Essential for physical and emotional well-being Social attachment system after birth keeps young near their caregiver a healthy/balanced social life = Happiness Does social exclusion “hurt”? Many languages use the same words to describe physical pain and social exclusion. “Heart ache”; “hurt feelings”. Do physical pain and social exclusion share similar neural mechanism? Hypothesis The brain regions activated by social pain are similar to those found in previous studies of physical pain. In particular, this fMRI study focused on 2 brain regions, which have been associated with physical pain Anterior Cingulated Cortex (ACC) 2) Right Ventral Prefrontal Cortex (RVPFC) 1) Anterior Cingulated Cortex (ACC) Act as alarm and monitors conflicts with current goal Pain = “something Wrong” = activate ACC Dorsal ACC is activated by the distress generated by pain, rather than the sensory component of pain Right Ventral Prefrontal Cortex (RVPFC) Involved in the regulation of pain distress Inhibit response to painful stimulation VPFC has efferent connections to ACC, may partially regulate ACC Method fMRI scans were acquired while participants played a virtual balltossing game under three conditions. I. Implicit social exclusion (ISE) - Technical difficulty I. Inclusion/control II. Explicit social exclusion (ESE) – after participants received 7 throws from 2 other players, the ball no longer passed toward the participants Method The “2 other players” were computer programs, although the participants believed they were real. The order of the conditions was not randomized. It followed 1)ISE 2)Inclusion 3)ESE This order minimized the residual effect of active exclusion during ESE Participants self-reported their distress due to exclusion after ESE Result ESE vs Inclusion Dorsal ACC was more active during ESE ACC activity positively correlated with self-reported distress Result ESE vs Inclusion con’t RVPFC was more active during ESE RVPFC activity negatively correlated with self-reported distress and ACC activation ACC activity mediated RVPFC activity, not distress Discussion Physical pain and Social exclusion shares similar neural mechanism which involve ACC and RVPFC ACC is activated by distress, which result in RVPFC activation. RVPFC then inhibits the response of ACC This self-regulation only occurred during ESE, suggesting that conscious awareness may be an essential part of regulation. Opinion on the Paper Strength Detailed background Well-versed Interesting study Limitation Order of condition not randomized No support for a direct relationship Paper is unorganized Future Directions Comparison of degree of activation during physical pain and emotional exclusion Analyze recovery period & susceptibility Investigate other brain regions Midterm guide Claim: Physical pain and Social exclusion shares similar neural mechanism which involve ACC and RVPFC Result: ACC is activated by social exclusion, which result in RVPFC activation. RVPFC then inhibits the response of ACC Discussion : Self regulation requires awareness Distress does not activate RVPFC Need time to recover from emotional distress Social exclusion hurts Citation Eisenberger, N. I., Lieberman, M. D., & Williams, K. D. (2003). Does Rejection Hurt? An fMRI Study of Social Exclusion. Science, 302(5643), 290-292. Thank You Questions?