Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 22 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Although people often describe experiences of social rejection as being “painful,” one is left to wonder whether these descriptions are primarily metaphorical or whether there is something truly painful about rejection experiences. This chapter reviews accumulating evidence showing that social pain—the painful feelings following social rejection, exclusion, or loss—relies on some of the same neural circuitry that is involved in processing physical pain. Moreover, building on this overlap in the neural circuitry underlying physical and social pain, this chapter reviews several consequences of this shared circuitry. Specifically, evidence is reviewed to show: (1) that individuals who are more sensitive to one kind of pain are also more sensitive to the other and (2) that factors that typically alter one type of pain (e.g., Tylenol reduces physical pain) can alter the other as well (e.g., Tylenol reduces social pain). Other possible consequences of this shared neural circuitry are discussed.

Keywords: anterior insula, dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, fmri, neuroimaging, physical pain, social exclusion, social neuroscience, social pain, social rejection

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.