It’s confirmed: A broken heart ‘really hurts’
London: Few have avoided the agony of a failed relationship. And, now scientists have confirmed that a broken heart really hurts.
An international team, led by Ethan Kross of Michigan University, has carried out a study and found that suffering from a broken heart, in fact, “hurts more” than physical pain, the ‘Daily Mail’ reported.
The study has showed that being dumped by a lover activates brain regions usually associated with processing physical pain, such as searing sensation of being burnt.
In their study, the scientists analysed 40 people who had recently had a romantic break-up. All said the experience left them deeply hurt.
Their brains were scanned as they looked at various pictures. They rated looking at the picture of an ex and being touched with a hot probe as more painful than thinking about a friend or being touched with a cooler probe.
More interestingly, they said that break-up thoughts hurt as much as the hot probe. Analysis of the scans revealed that the same brain regions lit up when processing the two types of pain.
“These results give new meaning to the idea that social rejection ‘hurts’. On the surface, spilling a hot cup of coffee on yourself and thinking about how rejected you feel when you look at the picture of a person that you recently experienced an unwanted break up with may seem to elicit very different types of pain.
“But this research shows that they may be even more similar than initially thought,” Kross said.
Other research has shed light on why we often yearn to get back together with a lost love. In the latest study, brain scans of men and women pining for a past partner revealed a broken heart triggers the same feeling in the brain as kicking a drug addiction.
But there is hope for the lovelorn. The study showed that the greater then number of days since the rejection, the less activity there was in parts of the brain behind emotional attachment.
The findings have been published in the ‘Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences’ journal.