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This Is Your Brain on Power There's evidence that power actually changes the way the brain sees others, decreasing recognition of others' concerns.

By Joe Robinson

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Power corrupts, and we know exactly what it corrupts: empathy. The narcissistic mind keen on building fiefdoms has trouble seeing the effect of its actions on others. When at the University of Kent, researcher Ana Guinote found that powerful people tend to ignore peripheral data and don't process information about the less powerful folks around them. Their tunnel vision stays locked on the actions that will win the praise, status or glory they crave. Minions become invisible.

There's evidence that power actually changes the way the brain sees others. A 2013 study by researchers at the University of Toronto and Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Canada, tracked how the brain's motor resonance system, which mimics the actions of others through what are known as mirror neurons and helps us relate, responded in high-power and low-power individuals. The high-power individuals had less motor simulation, "reduced interpersonal sensitivity" and "decreased processing of social input."

As a result, the powerful have decreased recognition of others' concerns, allowing them to throw their weight around with-out qualm. That gives empire builders the control they need to reduce the fears--insecurity, imperfection, loss of status--that fuel their pursuit of external validation.

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