Broken Hearts GIFs Cliparts
Broken heart (also known as a heartbreak or heartache) is a metaphor for the intense emotional stress or pain one feels at experiencing great and deep longing. The concept is cross-cultural, often cited with reference to unreciprocated or lost love. Failed romantic love can be extremely painful, sufferers of a broken heart may succumb to depression, anxiety and, in more extreme cases, post-traumatic stress disorder. Physiology The intense pain of a broken heart is believed to be part of the survival instinct. The 'social-attachment system' uses the 'pain system' to encourage humans to maintain their close social relationships by causing pain when those relationships are lost. Psychologists Geoff MacDonald of the University of Queensland and Mark Leary of Wake Forest University proposed in 2005 the evolution of common mechanisms for both physical and emotional pain responses and argue that such expressions are 'more than just a metaphor'. The concept is believed to be universal, with many cultures using the same words to describe both physical pain and the feelings associated with relationship loss. The neurological process involved in the perception of heartache is not known, but is thought to involve the anterior cingulate cortex of the brain, which during stress may overstimulate the vagus nerve causing pain, nausea or muscle tightness in the chest. Research by Naomi Eisenberger and Matthew Lieberman of the University of California from 2008 showed that rejection is associated with activation of the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex and right-ventral pre-frontal cortex, areas established as being involved in processing of pain, including empathizing with pain experienced by others. The same researchers mention effect of social stressors on the heart, and personality on perception of pain. A 2011 study showed that the same regions of the brain that become active in response to painful sensory experiences are activated during intense social rejection or social loss in general. Social psychologist Ethan Kross from University of Michigan, who was heavily involved in the study, said, 'These results give new meaning to the idea that social rejection hurts'. The research implicates the secondary somatosensory cortex and the dorsal posterior insula.
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