Learning! Roundup: Broken Hearts and Broken Bones, Natural Destruction, Attachment Style Evolution, and More!

A roundup of research from the past week, including how our brains experience emotional pain.
Photo by Harlie Raethel.

Broken Heart / Broken Bone

This is a fascinating dig into Naomi Eisenberg's research on the physical experience of emotional pain, showing that not only do our brains interpret emotional pain in the exact same way as physical pain. We are actually, physically hurting. She has even found that taking Tylenol can dull emotional pain. WHOA!


The destruction of nature is actually hurting our future just as much as climate change, and humans have altered 3/4 of the land on earth and 2/3 of the ocean. Yikes!

Attachment Styles

The first study looking at how attachment styles change throughout our lives has come out. It found that, in general, our attachment style doesn't change much from a young age. However, there are a few major shifts that happen. Anxious attachment styles, for example, flourish in adolescence and young adulthood and then wain as we age. (Thank goodness.)

Transgender Brains

A study scanning the brains of cis and transgender people has found a notable difference in the insula region of the brain, the area responsible for body image, self-awareness, and empathy. So this might indicate that differences begin at birth, which is interesting. How this interacts with the general notion of gender as a socialized concept is also an interesting question to explore.

Womb Stress

A mother undergoing severe stress while pregnant (like intimate partner violence) has been shown and thought to lead to psychiatric problems in the baby, thanks to epigenetics. However, new research is showing that it is actually more adaptive for the child should they be in a threatening environment (like living in a dangerous neighbourhood). So the prenatal stress leads to postnatal resilience.

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