Like watching when you get an injection? Donâ€™t look away as it turns out, looking at the injection as it plunges into your skin will actually lessen how painful it feels.
A team from the University College London (UCL) and University of Milan-Bicocca applied a heat probe to the hands of 18 volunteers.
They found that the participants were able to withstand higher temperatures when they could see their hand in a mirror compared to when the image was obscured with a block of wood.
Magnifying the hand in a convex mirror cut pain levels further still. Volunteers on average could tolerate 3C more heat when looking at their hand than when they didn’t.
The study has been published in Psychological Science and sheds new light on how the brain processes pain signals.