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Bridging the Gap Between People and Animals: The Roots of Social Behavior and Its Relationship to Pain

  • Erinn L. Acland
  • Navdeep K. Lidhar
  • Loren J. Martin
Chapter

Abstract

Pain is considered a personal experience, but it is rarely private. Individuals’ responses to pain function to communicate distress to others in the environment, eliciting emotional reactions and caregiving actions that in turn impact the sufferer’s pain experience. In animals, these behaviors are considered empathy-like and indicative of a complex social framework. Laboratory experiments on animals and humans have shown that social context can have direct effects on the expression of pain. In this review, we discuss the foundations of social behavior in animal models, how they relate to empathy, and highlight shared neural mechanisms between pain and social behaviors.

Keywords

Empathy Pain Animal model Emotional contagion Human Neuroscience Oxytocin Prosocial behavior Helping behavior Familiarity 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erinn L. Acland
    • 1
  • Navdeep K. Lidhar
    • 1
  • Loren J. Martin
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Toronto MississaugaMississaugaCanada
  2. 2.Department of Cell Systems and BiologyUniversity of Toronto MississaugaMississaugaCanada

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