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Social NeuroscienceToward Understanding the Underpinnings of the Social Mind$
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Alexander Todorov, Susan Fiske, and Deborah Prentice

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780195316872

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195316872.001.0001

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Social Pain

Social Pain

Experiential, Neurocognitive, and Genetic Correlates

Chapter:
(p.229) Chapter 16 Social Pain
Source:
Social Neuroscience
Author(s):

Naomi I. Eisenberger

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195316872.003.0016

This chapter suggests that the need for social connection is a fundamental need and that like other basic needs, a lack of social connection can feel “painful” an experience that has been termed “social pain”. It reviews two studies that utilized functional neuroimaging methodologies to examine whether the dorsal portion of the anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) is sensitive to: (1) the experience of social pain in humans and (2) cues that predict social pain in humans (“disapproving facial expressions”). A third study examined the extent to which sensitivity to one type of pain relates to sensitivity to the other, as well as whether activating one type of pain heightens sensitivity to the other. The chapter then highlights some of the extensions of this work by reviewing three studies that examined whether neural responses to social pain relate to and can help us understand real-world social phenomena.

Keywords:   social connection, social pain, anterior cingulate cortex, dACC, neural responses

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