Thursday, September 29, 2011

Pain in Social Situations

Looking over the material about the cutaneous sense for my group project, I found how social situations can cause you physical pain to be very interesting. Through recent research, there is evidence that there is activation in the brain that are was thought to be just activated by physical pain, but not known can be activated by a stressful social situation. This area of the brain that is activated is the anterior cingulate cortex and on fMRI scans you can determine how activated it is during a particular situation. The ACC is activated when you have emotional suffering that is associated with physical pain and can be activated by the end of a relationship, feeling rejected, (etc.) as well as with actual injury to your body. Not only do you feel "pain" for your own social situations, but studies of shown watching a person you care about go through rough situation also shows activation your brain as well, however it is not as much activity going on in the ACC. I just found that emotional pain to have similar effects to the brain as physical pain to be very fascinating.


  1. Second Post: Visual Illusions

    I found it very interesting that the brain can "trick" us into believing something that is not true. There is missing information and the brain tends to fill it in with false information that allows us to see things that aren't really there. Here are some examples of our brain tricking us from a Bill Nye video clip.

  2. Third Post: Color Illusions

    This clip is an example of an optical illusion. You are asked to stare at a small white dot between two blocks of contrasting colors (red and green, then orange and blue) for about 45 seconds. The whole screen then goes white, but generally people are still able to see the boxes that were on either side of the white dot. This effect is called afterimage. Afterimages come in two forms, negative (inverted) and positive (retaining original color). For many people the see an positive afterimage, but once and a while someone will see the negative image. The process behind positive afterimages is unknown, though thought to be related to neural adaptation.

    -Amanda Williams