I don't feel your pain (as much): the desensitizing effect of mind wandering on the perception of others' discomfort.

@article{Kam2014IDF,
  title={I don't feel your pain (as much): the desensitizing effect of mind wandering on the perception of others' discomfort.},
  author={Julia W. Y. Kam and Judy Xu and Todd C. Handy},
  journal={Cognitive, affective & behavioral neuroscience},
  year={2014},
  volume={14 1},
  pages={286-96}
}
Mind wandering reduces both the sensory and cognitive processing of affectively neutral stimuli, but whether it also modulates the processing of affectively salient stimuli remains unclear. In particular, we examined whether mind wandering attenuates one's sensitivity to observing mild pain in others. In the first experiment, we recorded event-related potentials (ERPs) as participants viewed images of hands in either painful or neutral situations, while being prompted at random intervals to… CONTINUE READING
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