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Threats to relationships processed like physical pain.


Human social cohesion is supported by subtle biological processes and feedback mechanisms. Like trees that communicate through their root systems, human beings have developed elaborate mechanisms to connect and share with one another. Our nervous systems learned to treat our social connections as existentially important — life or death. Threats to our relationships are processed by the same part of the brain that processes physical pain. Social losses, such as the death of a loved one, divorce, or expulsion from a social group, are experienced as acutely as a broken leg. (Team Human By Douglas Rushkoff; pp. 14-15)


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