Why do strong emotions often trigger sensations in our chests and abdomens? Scientific American says researchers don't know for sure yet, but new findings point to a physical connection between areas of the brain linked to emotional and physical pain:
According to a 2009 study from the University of Arizona and the University of Maryland, activity in a brain region that regulates emotional reactions called the anterior cingulate cortex helps to explain how an emotional insult can trigger a biological cascade. During a particularly stressful experience, the anterior cingulate cortex may respond by increasing the activity of the vagus nerve—the nerve that starts in the brain stem and connects to the neck, chest and abdomen. When the vagus nerve is overstimulated, it can cause pain and nausea.
More interesting still, Scientific American writes that empathy can also affect pain perception. A 2006 paper reportedly detailed how a mouse's sensitivity to pain increases when it "observes its cage mate in agony" yet decreases when near another unharmed mouse. A subsequent study based on magnetic resonance imaging data identified similar response in humans (minus the cage mate in agony part, that is).
|SilverStone Nitrogon NT08-115XP cooler fits in nearly any case||0|
|Samsung set to disable remaining Galaxy Note 7 handsets||11|
|Deals of the week: laptops and spinning storage||8|
|Qualcomm readies up 48-core Centriq 2400 ARM server chip||40|
|BitFenix Shogun chassis goes for internal and external coolness||3|
|AMD and Intel join forces for a bundle of hardware and games||53|
|Report: Samsung Galaxy S8 may go into full-screen mode||23|
|Gigabyte XK700 keyboard will challenge your limits||22|
|Microsoft and Intel set to bring AR to the people with Project Evo||10|