March 8, 2011

ODE to the OTHER BOY By Ace de Guzman Ligsay

She rejected him thrice.  They shared moments of heaven then pushed him to hell.  It is a pocket book love story- juicy and complicated, with a tragic ending for the other boy.
It hurts to be the other boy.  Painful.  He feels an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience (as described by the International Association for the study of Pain).  And as suggested by the other boy- pain goes beyond the activation of receptors in the skin or tissue damage, or broken bones.

The other boy is experiencing pain in social situations.  And exploring his pain can be connected to a research made by experts from the University of California at Los Angeles.  These experts used MRI scanner to investigate and observe the brain as they manipulated the participant’s feelings.

To be able to illicit the emotion needed by the study, they made a simulation of a social scenario.  A computer generated game of ball throwing is conducted.  There were three participants to the game and one of them is the participant, the other two is computer controlled.  They made the participant believed that the other two participants were controlled by real persons.  As the game progressed, the computer controlled players started to throw the ball at each other excluding the participant. 

In social situations, exclusion often than not is emotionally painful.  The experiment traced the neural machinery of the pain felt by the participant in the anterior cingulate cortex and this are of the brain is also associated to physical pain perception.

Anterior cingulate cortex was also observed to be activated when you are empathizing to a person’s personal pain- putting your shoes to his/her shoes and sharing of the other’s personal pain.
Dr Jaak Panksepp, from the Centre for Neuroscience, Mind and Behavior at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, remarked that "Psychological pain in humans, especially grief and intense loneliness, may share some of the same neural pathways that elaborate physical pain.”  The statement suggested that emotional torture brought about by social rejection and denial or verbal abuse can be as painful as physical abuse.

The other boy is now afraid of rejection, or any withdrawal of social support from anyone.     The other boy sits alone and hums happy songs, trying to repress odd feelings.  

1 comment:

  1. Jouran Article Review, BBC News, Health, Brain. Brain scan shows rejection, 2004 retrieved from: pain

    Goldstein, E. (2007).PAIN. Sensation and Perception, 343-349