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In this experiment, Eisenberger, Master, Inagaki, Taylor, Shirinyan, Lieberman, and Naliboff further research the hypothesis that attachment figures may act as safety signal to an individual during a threatening experience observing changes in neural mechanism to support this theory, specifically the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, the neural region involved in signalling safety and reducing stress and threat. The researchers inflicted painful stimuli upon female participants who were involved in a long term romantic relationships and observed activity in the participants’ respective ventromedial prefrontal cortex as the participants were shown control images and images of their loved ones. The results to this experiment were that the participants themselves reported less pain while viewing partner pictures, reduction in pain related neural activity and increased activity in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, the VMPFC Activation is associated with reduced pain ratings and reduced pain-related neural activity. The researchers note that the greater the VMPFC activity, the longer the relationship length and the greater the trust in the partner’s support which supports the theory that the VMPFC responds…show more content…
From personal experience I have noticed that being hurt by someone I trust, especially while staring at their face as they hurt me is actually more painful than watching someone hurt me that I do not trust as much. This article has left me wondering as to why there is a discrepancy with my personal experience and the results of this experiment. Does the reduction of pain when viewing attachment figures as proven in this experiment only apply to fear and physical pain and not emotional pain? Stating which kind of pain would have been helpful for the reader with a history of abuse understand the article on a deeper level
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