Pain Processing in a Social Context and the Link with Psychopathic Personality Traits-An Event-Related Potential Study

Casper H van Heck, Josi M A Driessen, Maria Amato, Marnou N van den Berg, Pritha Bhandari, Laura Bilbao-Broch, Jordi Farres-Casals, Manon Hendriks, Adrian C Jodzio, Laura Luque-Ballesteros, Christina Schöchl, Laura R Velasco-Angeles, Roel H A Weijer, Clementina M van Rijn, Marijtje L A Jongsma

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Empathy describes the ability to understand another person's feelings. Psychopathy is a disorder that is characterized by a lack of empathy. Therefore, empathy and psychopathy are interesting traits to investigate with respect to experiencing and observing pain. The present study aimed to investigate pain empathy and pain sensitivity by measuring event-related potentials (ERPs) extracted from the ongoing EEG in an interactive setup. Each participant fulfilled subsequently the role of "villain" and "victim". In addition, mode of control was modulated resulting in four different conditions; passive villain, active villain, active victim and passive victim. Response-, visual- and pain ERPs were compared between the four conditions. Furthermore, the role of psychopathic traits in these outcomes was investigated. Our findings suggested that people experience more conflict when hurting someone else than hurting themselves. Furthermore, our results indicated that self-controlled pain was experienced as more painful than uncontrolled pain. People that scored high on psychopathic traits seemed to process and experience pain differently. According to the results of the current study, social context, attention and personality traits seem to modulate pain processing and the empathic response to pain in self and others. The within-subject experimental design described here provides an excellent approach to further unravel the influence of social context and personality traits on social cognition.

Original languageEnglish
JournalFrontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience
Volume11
Issue number180
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 Sep 2017
Externally publishedYes

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Antisocial Personality Disorder
Evoked Potentials
Pain
Personality
Aptitude
Ego
Cognition
Electroencephalography
Emotions
Research Design

Keywords

  • Journal Article

Cite this

van Heck, C. H., Driessen, J. M. A., Amato, M., van den Berg, M. N., Bhandari, P., Bilbao-Broch, L., ... Jongsma, M. L. A. (2017). Pain Processing in a Social Context and the Link with Psychopathic Personality Traits-An Event-Related Potential Study. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 11(180). https://doi.org/10.3389/fnbeh.2017.00180
van Heck, Casper H ; Driessen, Josi M A ; Amato, Maria ; van den Berg, Marnou N ; Bhandari, Pritha ; Bilbao-Broch, Laura ; Farres-Casals, Jordi ; Hendriks, Manon ; Jodzio, Adrian C ; Luque-Ballesteros, Laura ; Schöchl, Christina ; Velasco-Angeles, Laura R ; Weijer, Roel H A ; van Rijn, Clementina M ; Jongsma, Marijtje L A. / Pain Processing in a Social Context and the Link with Psychopathic Personality Traits-An Event-Related Potential Study. In: Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience. 2017 ; Vol. 11, No. 180.
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van Heck, CH, Driessen, JMA, Amato, M, van den Berg, MN, Bhandari, P, Bilbao-Broch, L, Farres-Casals, J, Hendriks, M, Jodzio, AC, Luque-Ballesteros, L, Schöchl, C, Velasco-Angeles, LR, Weijer, RHA, van Rijn, CM & Jongsma, MLA 2017, 'Pain Processing in a Social Context and the Link with Psychopathic Personality Traits-An Event-Related Potential Study' Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, vol. 11, no. 180. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnbeh.2017.00180

Pain Processing in a Social Context and the Link with Psychopathic Personality Traits-An Event-Related Potential Study. / van Heck, Casper H; Driessen, Josi M A; Amato, Maria; van den Berg, Marnou N; Bhandari, Pritha; Bilbao-Broch, Laura; Farres-Casals, Jordi; Hendriks, Manon; Jodzio, Adrian C; Luque-Ballesteros, Laura; Schöchl, Christina; Velasco-Angeles, Laura R; Weijer, Roel H A; van Rijn, Clementina M; Jongsma, Marijtje L A.

In: Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, Vol. 11, No. 180, 25.09.2017.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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T1 - Pain Processing in a Social Context and the Link with Psychopathic Personality Traits-An Event-Related Potential Study

AU - van Heck, Casper H

AU - Driessen, Josi M A

AU - Amato, Maria

AU - van den Berg, Marnou N

AU - Bhandari, Pritha

AU - Bilbao-Broch, Laura

AU - Farres-Casals, Jordi

AU - Hendriks, Manon

AU - Jodzio, Adrian C

AU - Luque-Ballesteros, Laura

AU - Schöchl, Christina

AU - Velasco-Angeles, Laura R

AU - Weijer, Roel H A

AU - van Rijn, Clementina M

AU - Jongsma, Marijtje L A

PY - 2017/9/25

Y1 - 2017/9/25

N2 - Empathy describes the ability to understand another person's feelings. Psychopathy is a disorder that is characterized by a lack of empathy. Therefore, empathy and psychopathy are interesting traits to investigate with respect to experiencing and observing pain. The present study aimed to investigate pain empathy and pain sensitivity by measuring event-related potentials (ERPs) extracted from the ongoing EEG in an interactive setup. Each participant fulfilled subsequently the role of "villain" and "victim". In addition, mode of control was modulated resulting in four different conditions; passive villain, active villain, active victim and passive victim. Response-, visual- and pain ERPs were compared between the four conditions. Furthermore, the role of psychopathic traits in these outcomes was investigated. Our findings suggested that people experience more conflict when hurting someone else than hurting themselves. Furthermore, our results indicated that self-controlled pain was experienced as more painful than uncontrolled pain. People that scored high on psychopathic traits seemed to process and experience pain differently. According to the results of the current study, social context, attention and personality traits seem to modulate pain processing and the empathic response to pain in self and others. The within-subject experimental design described here provides an excellent approach to further unravel the influence of social context and personality traits on social cognition.

AB - Empathy describes the ability to understand another person's feelings. Psychopathy is a disorder that is characterized by a lack of empathy. Therefore, empathy and psychopathy are interesting traits to investigate with respect to experiencing and observing pain. The present study aimed to investigate pain empathy and pain sensitivity by measuring event-related potentials (ERPs) extracted from the ongoing EEG in an interactive setup. Each participant fulfilled subsequently the role of "villain" and "victim". In addition, mode of control was modulated resulting in four different conditions; passive villain, active villain, active victim and passive victim. Response-, visual- and pain ERPs were compared between the four conditions. Furthermore, the role of psychopathic traits in these outcomes was investigated. Our findings suggested that people experience more conflict when hurting someone else than hurting themselves. Furthermore, our results indicated that self-controlled pain was experienced as more painful than uncontrolled pain. People that scored high on psychopathic traits seemed to process and experience pain differently. According to the results of the current study, social context, attention and personality traits seem to modulate pain processing and the empathic response to pain in self and others. The within-subject experimental design described here provides an excellent approach to further unravel the influence of social context and personality traits on social cognition.

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