Neuroscience, Social Pain, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Neurotypical, Neurodiverse, Exclusion


Neurology | Psychology


Dr. Kristy Dean


Pain has long been defined as a multidimensional construct; in past research, not only have the physical and sensory aspects of pain been investigated, but also the cognitive and emotional aspects, which include the experience of social pain. This experience is generally accepted to be very distressing and can have adverse effects on one's mental health, especially for those with neurological disorders. In my paper, I examine the effects of social pain on brain activity in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and borderline personality disorder (BPD) as compared to those who are neurotypical. This research finds that while neurotypical individuals show neural hyperactivity in key brain regions during social exclusion, individuals with ASD show hypoactivity during exclusion, and BPD patients show hyperactivity under both inclusion and exclusion conditions. This information provides useful tools for educators and has practical applications for teaching and interpersonal management strategies.