Pain reduced by changing what you look at.

What you look at can influence how much pain you feel, a study has revealed.

Contrary to many people's compulsion to look away during a painful event such as an injection, scientists found that looking at your body - in this case the hand - reduces the pain experienced. The team also showed that magnifying the hand to make it appear larger cut pain levels further still.

The study, published in Psychological Science, is shedding light on how the brain processes pain. The researchers say that gaining a better understanding of this could lead to new treatments.

Look away?

The University College London (UCL) and University of Milan-Bicocca research, which was funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), was carried out with the help of 18 volunteers.

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