Two articles here to remind us that distraction is not always a 'bad thing'. Distraction by counting resulted in less pain perception in the first article (isn't that why we do Lamaze?), and in the second, deaf signers were found to be more sensitive to motion (distraction if unwanted) off to the right. For the deaf signers, the advantages of being sensitive to motion for communication is obvious.
fMRI of Attention to Somatosensory Stimulation