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Mirror-Touch Synesthetes

This Doctor Knows Exactly How You Feel         

This is an implicit summery of This Doctor Knows How You Feel, 2015 an article done by Erika Hayasaki that gives an explanation on several attributes of Mirror-Touch Synesthesia and a view of how people having it live with it.

Mirro-Touch Synesthesia is a condition in which an individual’s brain is capable to translate other people’s feelings and feel them too. It is a tactical condition that may be a challenge in living with. The MTS has been officially spotted in about 4% of the total world’s population. MTS alone has no effect other than influence of emotions. In a way people become the determinants of one’s overall behaviour psychologically.

Mirror-touch synesthesia is the state in which someone feels the same as another person’s feelings when touched without physical contact. An example is when an individual hurts himself or herself, say cut by a knife or something; the observer feels the pain as that of the cut. In consideration of the pervasiveness of mirror-touch synaesthesia, it is essential to note that which constitutes synaesthesiain common and the methods used to substantiate the legitimacyof the condition.

Synaesthesia has many other important attributes that also seem to be found in the mirror-touch variety. Synaesthetic experiences tended to be coherent with time. Mirror-touch synaesthetes reported their experiences to be lasting and an individual’s spatial sub-type (that is, whether they belong to the specula or anatomical category) is coherent across time and across different body parts. Further, in the same context, it was once believed that synaesthetic undergoes reflect random but coherent associations, this view is no longer widely used.

In the efforts to try to explain what causes mirror-touch synaestetic, scientists have come up with the idea that people’s senses get crossed. This miss-match brings about defects that make a few people to hear words in colours and others see music in bright bursts or glimmers. Although there are no very precise information on what exactly causes Mirror-touch synaestetic, theories are being developed the help of more sophisticated and illusive paradigms. In the mean time, perceptions have been developed that people with MTS recognize facial emotions of others better than those without it. From the current information available on MTS it is evident that there is still a large amount of knowledge that needs to be learned. Ideas have been developed to try and explain causes of MTS, including the study of genes associated with grapheme-colour synesthesia that until today is one of the most promising methods.

Some distinct studies on the other hand, had deployed the theory of empathy getting connected to synesthesia. This theory gave an explanation that empathy is involved with stimulation process. This stimulation leads anxiety that eventually leads the brain into thinking or imagining a feeling that is directly reflected as a reflex feeling similar to that observed.

From records, there are around 4% of people leaving with Mirror-Touch Synesthesia. Someone is probably wondering how such people live among us. Hayasaki (author) used a good example of Joel Salinas.Salinas was born in Miami, Florida, to a pair of political refugees from Nicaragua. He (author) introduced Salinas when in a hospital where he (Salinas) “experienced reflex hammer” as he empathetically imagined hoe Josh, a patient was feeling. Here Salinas will act as a good reference when looking at how people with MTS live with it. Salinas is portrayed to remember his father’s exhaustion in his own body after a day’s job. Salinas’ father was an educated man who delivered pizzas and newspapers. People with MTS always feel all kinds of moods that their counterparts are in and they could tell if its a numb or exiting mood. Referring to Salinas, he felt the numbness their parents had when they discussed a past tragic event. Salinas was five by then.

Salinas, being an emotional precocious and hypersensitive child, never played with children of his age group. He preferred sitting with adults or read alone. Salinas also remembered witnessing a fight that involved two ladies who would claw at each other, after which he had a severe headache. While in high school Salinas learned how to regulate his own emotional responses. He learned how to stay away from, how to let sensation pass, how to calm his own mind being a physician.

In the view of Salinas’ life as one living with MTS, there is a set example of the way in which he such individuals are and should live. In addition to the above, I think that such individuals are setting principles to be able to fit in all societal fields. They, having realised that they do not have to face everyone’s feelings and go through what others feel in irrelevant related situations.

In summing up, by investigating the characteristics and occurrence of mirror-touch synaesthesia it is shown that this variant of the condition may be one of the most frequent forms of synaesthesia. In addition, we draw attention to a number of important attributes which imply that the situation goes beyond a simple one to one mapping between pragmatic and synaesthetic touch. It is suggested that a neurocognitive model which differentiates between sub-types of mirror-touch synaesthesia and suggest prospective neural mechanisms to provide explanation for how differences in the interpersonal body maps adopted may lead to different cognitive procedures related to synaesthetic experience.



Hayasaki E. (2015): This Doctor Knows Exactly How You Feel


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