Dr. Naomi Eisenberger, UCLA
Social pain and pleasure: The social neuroscience of rejection and connection
Some of the best and worst experiences of life involve the making and breaking of social bonds. In order to better understand the profound experiences associated with social connection and rejection, we have looked to the brain to investigate the basic neural systems that might underlie these complex socioemotional experiences. In this talk, I will explore whether ‘social pain,’ the feelings resulting from social rejection or loss, rely on neural regions that support physical pain processing. I will also examine whether ‘social pleasure,’ specifically the positive feelings associated with social connection, rely on neural regions and neurochemical substrates (opioids) that support reward-related processing. Together, the studies presented begin to shed light on the neural systems that work to promote social connection and ultimately survival.
Dr. Naomi Eisenberger is a Professor in the Social Psychology program at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is director of the Social and Affective Neuroscience laboratory as well as co-director of the Social Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory.
Annually the Department of Psychology hosts a Colloquia Series throughout the academic year.