Scientists have long known that opium-like painkillers, called opioids, relieve not only physical pain, but also some forms of emotional stress. Now, a new study reviewed by Faculty of 1000 Biology member Markus Heilig shows that small genetic differences in the gene for the opioid receptor can determine the intensity of people's responses to social rejection.
In the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers at the University of California in Los Angeles questioned people about their responses to social rejection, which is a form of emotional stress.
They also performed brain scans on people playing a video game in which they were excluded from tossing a ball with computer-generated players.
The results showed that people with a certain mutation in their opioid receptor reacted more strongly to social rejection than those with a normal opioid receptor.
Dr Heilig says that "strengthening the conclusions from this study is the fact that a similar polymorphism [genetic difference] has independently arisen in the rhesus macaque."
The same portion of the brain that is responsible for the response to physical pain became activated as a result of social rejection, suggesting that, to our brains, emotions really can "hurt."
2. The full text of this article is available free for 90 days at http://www.f1000biology.com/article/pmpyrt2d5bgt27n/id/1166319
3. An abstract of the original paper Variation in the micro-opioid receptor gene (OPRM1) is associated with dispositional and neural sensitivity to social rejection is at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez/19706472?dopt=Abstract&holding=f1000,f1000m,isrctn
4. Please name Faculty of 1000 Biology in any story you write. If you are writing for the web, please link to the website
5. Faculty of 1000, http://f1000.com, is a unique online service that helps you stay informed of high impact articles and access the opinions of global leaders in biology. Our distinguished international Faculty select and evaluate key articles across medicine, providing a rapidly updated, authoritative guide to the biomedical literature that matters
6. Please contact Steve Pogonowski, PR Manager, for a complimentary journalist subscription to Faculty of 1000 email@example.com
Steve Pogonowski | EurekAlert!
Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung
Scientists reveal source of human heartbeat in 3-D
07.08.2017 | University of Manchester
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
Researchers from the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, the Italian Space Agency (ASI), and the Instituto Geofisico--Escuela Politecnica Nacional (IGEPN) of Ecuador, showed an increasing volcanic danger on Cotopaxi in Ecuador using a powerful technique known as Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR).
The Andes region in which Cotopaxi volcano is located is known to contain some of the world's most serious volcanic hazard. A mid- to large-size eruption has...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
16.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
16.08.2017 | Materials Sciences
16.08.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research