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People often experience two types of pain: social pain and physical pain. The former is related to psychological distance from other people or social groups, whereas the latter is associated with actual or potential tissue damage. Social pain caused by interpersonal interactions causes negative feelings in individuals and has negative consequences to the same degree as physical pain. Various studies have shown an interaction between social pain and physical pain, not only in behavioral performance but also in activities within shared neural regions. Accordingly, the present paper reviews: (1) the interaction between social pain and physical pain in individuals’ behavioral performances; and (2) the overlap in neural circuitry as regards the processing of social pain and physical pain. Understanding the relationship between social pain and physical pain might provide new insights into the nature of these two types of pain, and thus may further contribute to the treatment of illnesses associated with both types of painful experience.


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Interaction between social pain and physical pain

Show Author's information Ming Zhang1,2Yuqi Zhang1,2Yazhuo Kong1,2( )
Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
Department of Psychology, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China

Abstract

People often experience two types of pain: social pain and physical pain. The former is related to psychological distance from other people or social groups, whereas the latter is associated with actual or potential tissue damage. Social pain caused by interpersonal interactions causes negative feelings in individuals and has negative consequences to the same degree as physical pain. Various studies have shown an interaction between social pain and physical pain, not only in behavioral performance but also in activities within shared neural regions. Accordingly, the present paper reviews: (1) the interaction between social pain and physical pain in individuals’ behavioral performances; and (2) the overlap in neural circuitry as regards the processing of social pain and physical pain. Understanding the relationship between social pain and physical pain might provide new insights into the nature of these two types of pain, and thus may further contribute to the treatment of illnesses associated with both types of painful experience.

Keywords:

social pain, physical pain, pain matrix
Received: 31 October 2019 Revised: 02 December 2019 Accepted: 10 December 2019 Published: 18 May 2020 Issue date: December 2019
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Publication history
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Publication history

Received: 31 October 2019
Revised: 02 December 2019
Accepted: 10 December 2019
Published: 18 May 2020
Issue date: December 2019

Copyright

© The authors 2019

Acknowledgements

This paper is jointly supported by the Scientific Foundation of Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (No. Y9CX432005), and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 81871436).

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Creative Commons Non Commercial CC BY-NC: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License (http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage)

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