Across cultures and language divides, people talk about the sting of social rejection as if it were a physical pain. We feel "burned" by a partner's infidelity, "wounded" by a friend's harsh words, "crushed" when a loved one fails us, "heartache" when spurned by a lover.
There's a reason for that linguistic conflation, says a growing community of pain researchers: In our brains too, physical and social pain share much the same neural circuitry. In many ways, in fact, your brain may scarcely make a distinction between a verbal and physical insult.
So the well-worn parental reassurance that "sticks and stones will break your bones, but names will never hurt you" is false, these scientists say. And they have the pictures to prove it.
Read More: http://www.latimes.com/health/la-he-mood-pain-20110404,0,6296917.story