Monday, December 22, 2014. I have been investigating the Anterior Cingulate Cortex online as it relates to empathy, attachment, emotional and social processing, the brain’s default resting mode, physical and emotional pain, anxiety, depression, OCD, Borderline Personality Disorder, ADHD, autism, Disruptive Behavior Disorders (DBD), difficulties with behavioral inhibition and choice-making, hoarding, speech pathology, PTSD, schizophrenia, bi-polar, damage by abuse, “silent treatment” and bullying, etc. – you name it! A fascinating and important search/study!
I found these two articles which are both available online free by clicking on title links:
Abstract | Experiences of social rejection, exclusion or loss are generally considered to be some of the most ‘painful’ experiences that we endure. Indeed, many of us go to great lengths to avoid situations that may engender these experiences (such as public speaking). Why is it that these negative social experiences have such a profound effect on our emotional well-being? Emerging evidence suggests that experiences of social pain — the painful feelings associated with social disconnection — rely on some of the same neurobiological substrates that underlie experiences of physical pain. Understanding the ways in which physical and social pain overlap may provide new insights into the surprising relationship between these two types of experiences.
Do neural responses to rejection depend on attachment style? An fMRI study by C. Nathan DeWall, Carrie L. Masten, Caitlin Powell, David Combs, David R. Schurtz, and Naomi I. Eisenberger
Social bonds fulfill the basic human need to belong. Being rejected thwarts this basic need, putting bonds with others at risk. Attachment theory suggests that people satisfy their need to belong through different means. Whereas anxious attachment is associated with craving acceptance and showing vigilance to cues that signal possible rejection, avoidant attachment is associated with discomfort with closeness and using avoidant strategies to regulate one’s relationships. Given these different styles by which people satisfy their need to belong (that can operate simultaneously within the same individual), responses to social rejection may differ according to these individual differences in attachment anxiety and avoidance. To test this hypothesis, we used neuroimaging techniques to examine how the degree to which people display each of the two attachment dimensions (anxiety and avoidance) uniquely correlated with their neural activity during a simulated experience of social exclusion. Anxious attachment related to heightened activity in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) and anterior insula, regions previously associated with rejection-related distress. In contrast, avoidant attachment related to less activity in these regions. Findings are discussed in terms of the strategies that individuals with varying attachment styles might use to promote maintenance of social bonds.
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