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Emotion self-regulation and empathy depend upon longer stimulus exposure.


ABSTRACT: Observation of others in pain induces positive elevation (pain effect) in late event-related potentials (ERP). This effect is associated with top-down attention regulating processes. It has previously been shown that stimulus exposure duration can affect top-down attentional modulation of response to threat-related stimuli. We investigated the effect of exposure duration on ERP response to others in pain. Two late ERP components, P3 and late positive potentials (LPP), from 18 healthy people were measured while they viewed pictures of hands in painful or neutral situations for either 200 or 500 ms, during two task conditions (pain judgment and counting hands). P3 and LPP pain effects during the pain judgment condition were significantly greater with 500 ms than 200 ms stimulus presentation. Ours is the first study to suggest that engagement of empathy-related self-regulatory processes reflected in late potentials requires longer exposure to the pain-related stimulus. Although this is important information about the relationship between early sensory and subsequent brain processing, and about engagement of self-regulatory processes, the neural basis of this time-dependence remains unclear. It might be important to investigate the relationship between stimulus duration and empathic response in clinical populations where issues of self-regulation, empathic response and speed of information processing exist.

SUBMITTER: Ikezawa S 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC4187273 | BioStudies | 2014-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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