The observation of pain in others may enhance or reduce self-pain, yet the boundary conditions and factors that determine the direction of such effects are poorly understood. The current study set out to show that visual stimulus awareness plays a crucial role in determining whether vicarious pain primarily activates behavioral defense systems that enhance pain sensitivity and stimulate withdrawal or appetitive systems that attenuate pain sensitivity and stimulate approach. We
Academic Publications
This thesis examined the effects of higher cognitive mechanisms on the automatic and elaborate elicitation of motivational behaviours by visual material presented in absence (i.e. subliminal stimuli) and presence of visual awareness (i.e. optimal stimuli), respectively. With the aim of teasing apart automatic and elaborate approach and withdrawal behaviours, the first study measured self-pain tolerance, intensity and unpleasantness during the Cold Pressor Test (within-subjects) in healthy participants (N=155) before and
Academic Publications

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