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Medicine Science

A Broken Heart Really Does Hurt, Scientists Claim 220

Death Metal writes "Psychologists at the University of California, Los Angeles say the human body has a gene that connects physical pain sensitivity with social pain sensitivity. The findings back the common theory that rejection 'hurts' by showing that a gene regulating the body's most potent painkillers — mu-opioids — is involved in socially painful experiences too."
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A Broken Heart Really Does Hurt, Scientists Claim

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  • by tunapez ( 1161697 ) on Saturday August 22, 2009 @05:13AM (#29154385)

    Great book on this very subject, very insightful. Don't let the title dissuade you, it is actually chock full of empirical data and good lessons in anatomy and the psyche.
    A General Theory Of Love [amazon.com]

  • Makes Sense... (Score:5, Informative)

    by BJ_Covert_Action ( 1499847 ) on Saturday August 22, 2009 @05:19AM (#29154397) Homepage Journal
    Not to undermine the work of the researchers but this makes sense from a theoretical standpoint in terms of evolution. Humans as social creatures that reproduce sexually. It makes sense that, over the years, those individual genes that allowed humans to learn to flinch away from social stigmatization and learn from sexual/romantic rejection would survive more generations than those that didn't as, such genes would produce more socially acceptable creatures. For the human species, being socially acceptable is an instinctual desire as we tend towards the safety in numbers lifestyle. Loners, stragglers, and folks that never learned that rejection is a *bad* thing would/could have been picked off by predators easier and such. Hopefully, of course, that doesn't mean that slashdotters will start dying off anytime soon.

    All jokes aside, though, I think I would have been more surprised to have learned that heartbreak and social rejection does not cause some kind of negative reinforcement within the human psyche. It is, of course, still interesting research.
  • Re:Makes Sense... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Biogenesis ( 670772 ) <overclocker@brent.optushome@com@au> on Saturday August 22, 2009 @08:18AM (#29154815) Homepage
    This finding also supports earlier research which showed the area of the brain associated with pain lighting up due to social rejection. There's a PDF from 2007 [ucla.edu] which describes the earlier research. It was also reported on the Australian Science show Catalyst.
  • Re:Thanks Slashdot. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Saturday August 22, 2009 @09:56AM (#29155105) Homepage

    dude, kick her to the curb, because you will feel that again and she WILL do it to you again.

    If you like feeling betrayed, stay with her. If you want to stop the pain, throw her and all her crap out the door. There are 10,000 more just for you that are far better than she is. Out there waiting for you.

  • Re:Feel No Pain (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 22, 2009 @01:09PM (#29156211)
    The people who feel no pain also have all sorts of trouble learning what brings risk of death vs. what doesn't and tend to not be afraid of anything. They tend to die from falling off tall buildings or getting hit by cars etc.
  • by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Sunday August 23, 2009 @07:32AM (#29162549) Journal

    This is where the word "vamp" comes from. It was invented in the 1920s and comes from the word "vampire" meaning a woman who sucks the life out of men. So next time you hear Entertainment Today or some other fashion show comment that an actress is "vamping it up" realizing they just insulted that actress. They probably don't mean to do it, but they just called her a vampire - a parasite off men.

    And no I doubt in my example all *3* men sucked in bed. Blame the gander not the goose.

"This is lemma 1.1. We start a new chapter so the numbers all go back to one." -- Prof. Seager, C&O 351