Wednesday, February 15, 2006

What becomes of the broken hearted? : Love hurts

Among us, who has not experience a broken heart? I well recall my feelings the day my childhood sweetheart (dear Sandra McKenzie) told me there was no place for me in her heart. Aged 14, the anguish experienced when Marilyn McLean gave me a dizzie (Scots vernacular for No way Hoasey) was indescribable. Well can I just say science has confirmed the pain in the heart equates to the physical discomfort associated with stubbing your toe against a hard surface. Confirmation love hurts, the mantra of tortured romantics across the world. The scientists at the University of California in Los Angeles, don’t waste their time, and have claimed to prove that the two neural zones in the brain, which respond to physical pain, also react to social exclusion. An experiment to monitor subject’s reaction to rejection was set up and functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (firm) was used to scan their brains. Analysis showed the part of the brain, which was normally reserved for physical pain, was also activated by social pain. Leader of the research team, Dr Naomi Eisenberger, proudly declared the study suggested that social pain was analogous in its neurocognitive function to physical pain, alerting us when we have sustained injury to our social connections, allowing restorative measures to be taken. Which was easy for her to say, but translated meant scientists accept there is more to a "broken heart", than meets the eye. The body’s neurochemistry gets activated when you fall in love and this explains why it 'hurts' to ‘lose someone we love.’

Of course Bette Davis, no stranger to love was the first person to recognise the importance of the big toe and its role in biofeed back. Was it not the Hollywood siren who coined the immortal words when defining the great toe, she said, “ … an instrument for finding hard things in the dark!”

Reviewed 18/11/2016

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