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  • From literature to plays and movies throughout the world,

  • Humanity's fascination with love is just as strong as our obsession with heartbreak.

  • But, is a broken heart simply an abstract concept, or are there real physical affects on the body and the brain?

  • Whenever you endure physical pain, such as a cut or injury, the anterior cingulate cortex is stimulated.

  • Surprisingly, it's the same region of the brain that's activated when you feel excluded or experience the loss of a social relationship.

  • Perhaps physical pain and emotional pain aren't as different as we once thought.

  • Think about the ways in which we describe lost love.

  • "He ripped my heart out", "it was a slap in the face", "I'm emotionally scarred."

  • This use of physical description

  • paints a clear relationship, at least in language, between emotional and physical pain.

  • In fact, studies have shown that human beings would rather

  • be physically hurt than feel social exclusion.

  • But why would these two different experiences

  • elicit the same feeling in our bodies?

  • It's clear that our bodies use physical pain to prevent

  • the risk of imminent danger.

  • But, from an evolutionary perspective,

  • anything that increases our overall survival and fitness as a species

  • is likely to persist.

  • The rise of relationships and social bonds between lovers and friends alike

  • became an important part of survival for many species.

  • You look out for me, and I'll look out for you.

  • And just like your desire to not be burned by hot coffee again,

  • animals desire not to be socially alone.

  • The pain from both instances increases our chance of survival

  • by avoiding less desirable outcomes.

  • You're more likely to survive and reproduce

  • if you're not alone.

  • This can be see in studies of primates

  • who, when separated from loved ones,

  • experienced an increase in the hormone cortisol

  • and a decrease in the hormone norepinephrine,

  • causing a major stress response.

  • Ultimately, this contributes to the depression, anxiety, and loud crying documented.

  • For humans, a break up, loss of a loved one, or isolation

  • can trigger a similar reaction,

  • creating the perception of physical pain.

  • So, how can we alleviate this pain?

  • After all, band-aids or creams are meant for physical wounds.

  • Studies have shown that high levels of social support

  • are related to low levels of pain,

  • whereas socially alienated individuals show poor adjustment.

  • So if you're feeling brokenhearted,

  • surround yourself with friends and family,

  • as difficult as it may seem.

  • And if someone you know is suffering emotionally,

  • be there for social support.

  • Because, scientifically, us humans - we all just want to fit in somewhere.

  • This episode of AsapScience is supported by,

  • the leading provider

  • of audiobooks with over 150,000 downloadable titles

  • across all types of literature.

  • If you'd like to learn more about the brain,

  • I recommend the book "Thinking, Fast and Slow" by Daniel Kahneman.

  • You can download this audiobook

  • or another of your choice for free at

  • Special thanks to audible

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  • and for offering you a free audiobook at

From literature to plays and movies throughout the world,


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B1 中級

心碎的科學 (The Science of Heartbreak)

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    陳叔華 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日