Romantic Breakups Can Cause Physical Pain, Study Shows

Love hurts. It sounds like a cliche, but new research suggests it might literally be true. Rejection by a romantic partner during a breakup activates regions of the brain associated with physical pain, according to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences study.

“Rejection literally hurts,” researcher Edward Smith, a cognitive neuroscientist at Columbia University, told LiveScience.

People have long described the sadness over a lost love or a romantic breakup in much the same way, using words like “pain” and “hurt.” They often sounded as though they’re speaking interchangeably about mental anguish and physical suffering — making scientists wonder whether the two feelings might be triggering the same areas of the brain. Read more…

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