A heartbreak 'can really break your heart'

Researchers have found that the human brain uses some of the same regions to process physical and emotional pain -- so getting dumped is not just mentally upsetting, it can also upset one's body, the 'Daily Mail' reported.

The effect on the nervous system explains why some find themselves unable to eat or sleep after a break-up. And, the more rejected one feels, the slower one's heart rate gets, says the study.

To test the theory the researchers from University of Amsterdam and Leiden University in Netherlands asked a group of volunteers to take part in an experiment, which unbeknown to them, tested their heart rate when rejected by others.

First the participants were asked to send in photos of themselves. They were told for a study on first impressions, students would look at the photo to decide whether they liked the volunteer. This was just a cover story for the experiment.

Each volunteer then had wires placed on their chest for an electrocardiogram, was shown a face on screen and was then asked to guess whether that student liked them.Each participant's heart rate fell in anticipation before they found out the person’s supposed opinion of them. Heart rate was also affected after they were told the other person's opinion.

If they were told the other student did not like them, the heart rate dropped further, and was slower to get back up to the usual rate, the findings revealed

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