Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Short Communication

Pain in the social animal

Kenneth D. Craig a1 and Melanie A. Badali a1
a1 Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


Human pain experience and expression evolved to serve a range of social functions, including warning others, eliciting care, and influencing interpersonal relationships, as well as to protect from physical danger. Study of the relatively specific, involuntary, and salient facial display of pain permits examination of these roles, extending our appreciation of pain beyond the prevalent narrow focus on somatosensory mechanisms.