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May 17, 2019

we all know what it feels like to be rejected by a friend, loved one or coworker. But did you know that rejection has actual physiological effects on your body and brain? Today Brett and I discuss the very real effects of social rejection.


Social Rejection

  • social rejection = physical pain
  • Naomi Eisenberg
    • Anterior Insula (AI)
    • Dorsal Anterior Cingulate Cortex (dACC)
    • CyberBall
  • Baumeister: the more severe the perception of rejection causes ego-shock = shut down of emotional response

  • Social rejection by groups you dislike and being paid to be rejected do not lessen the reaction
    • African-Americans rejected by KKK members
  • Exercise and other behaviors that cause the release of endorphins minimize the effect
    • Crying releases endorphins as well

  • mindfulness helps deal with social rejection
    • mindful people have less activation of left Ventrolateral Prefrontal Cortex (lVCP) which is known to assist in top-down inhibitory regulation
    • connections between lVCP and amygdala and dACC are less functional in mindful people
  • bottom-up regulation is better than top-down

  • Bottom-up: Perception directs Cognition
    • Information taken in through sense organs directs the construction of world view
    • I see and hear a mosquito and then construct a plan to swat it
  • Top-down: Perception is constructed by cognition
    • Known information is used to construct a world view
    • I can walk through my dark house because I know how the furniture is arranged
  • In top-down out of the ordinary or unexpected factors lead to negative perceptions