'I feel your pain' is one of the most widespread - and some might say nauseating - cliches of the C21st. However, researchers from the University of Birmingham (U.K.) have found - that for some people at least - it may have an element of truth. The researchers showed 108 college students images of painful situations including athletes suffering sports injuries and people receiving injections. About a third of the students said that they actually felt physical pain in the same areas as the injuries or injections affected. In the second part of the study the researchers scanned the brains of 20 students, half of whom had felt physical pain on seeing the clips. Both groups were shown another series of painful images but while they both showed an increase in activity in areas of the brain to do with emotion only the group which said they felt pain on seeing the images showed activity in pain-related areas of their brains.
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