July 5, 2008

Project Tidbits

It ain't really good practice to blog about the research one is doing in order to avoid the risk of it being stolen from right under your nose, so I'm not gonna spill any details of the project I'm involved in now. Except just to say that it is going to be very exciting to break new ground in a relatively under-researched area of neuropsychology. :-)

Nothing to stop me from dishing out a few tidbits with some details changed though, and here's one:

"Neurophysiologically, a recent study by Eisenberger, Lieberman, and Williams (2003) demonstrated that the social pain of ostracism is similar to physical pain at the neurophysiological level ... The exclusion of participants led to increased activity in their anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), and the right ventral prefrontal cortex (RVPFC). The ACC is the same region active during physical pain, suggesting that ostracism taps primal reactions of hurt. Self-reports of distress were highly correlated with ACC activity. The activity in the RVPFC moderated feelings of distress for the intentional (but not intentional) ostracism, suggesting that this regulates the ACC activity."
Cool, huh? ;-)

To think that intentionally or unintentionally excluding people from activities activates the same neural pain centres as when you're getting punched. Something to think about there....

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