How Close Relationships Affect Healing: A Neuroscientific Overview
Research has long shown that people with strong social networks and relationships heal faster than those who do not. Now the emerging field of "social neuroscience" offers several explanations as to why.
At the top of the list is the discovery of "mirror neurons," brain cells which monitor emotions and movements of the people we are with and replicate them in our brains by activating the same regions. These cells are believed to account not only for feelings of rapport but even cardiovascular and biological synchronicity between two people, possibly allowing one person to influence the recovery of another.
Other studies have shown that the presence of a loved one quiets the regions of the brain associated with the release of stress hormones and anxiety. Meanwhile, social rejection was found to activate the same regions of the brain associated with physical pain. Still other researchers suggest simply that the state of relationships alone may have a strong impact on neuroendocrinological and cardiovascular activity.
FULL TEXT: Social Isolation and Health, with an Emphasis on Underlying Mechanisms (Abstract)
See also: Social Neuroscience: A New Journal
Posted In: Cognitive Psychology |
Posted by FindCounseling.com Staff on October 11, 2006 at 04:05 AM | Permalink
This page contains a single entry from Psychology Briefs, the FindCounseling.com Blog.
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