synesthesia & types of synesthesia

Mirror-Pain Synesthesia

Mirror-Touch and Mirror-Pain Synesthesia: It Hurts Just Looking at It! 


Mirror-Touch and Mirror pain synesthesia are newly described types of synesthesia. Seeing somebody being touched, feels as if you were touched yourself.

Or if seeing somebody in pain, it feels like having the pain oneself.


Do You Have a Hard Time Watching Horror Movies?


This type of synesthesia may explain why some people do not like to watch horror movies.

Mirror Pain synesthesia is when somebody feels somebody else in pain and feels it
Mirror-Pain Synesthesia: seeing somebody in pain, produces the real perception of pain.


Mirror neurons fire just by watching somebody executing an action.


Mirror neurons are neurons that fire when you watch someone acting. If you see somebody grabbing an app, your “neurons for grabbing,” trigger even though you do not grab the water yourself. 



Mirror neurons are essential for learning processes.


Just by seeing the action, the mirror neurons activate. Mirror neurons are essential for learning, especially for newborns. They imitate the behavior of others in their environment.


Mirror-Touch Do you feel what you see?


Mirror-Touch Synesthesia is a type of synesthesia. Seeing somebody being touched you may have the experience of being touched yourself.


mirror touch synesthesia

From the book “The Frog Who Croaked Blue” by Jamie Ward. When you look at the video do you automatically feel some kind of touch sensation on your own body.

One study claims that 2.5% of people may have a form of mirror-touch synesthesia. The intensity of such experiences may vary from synesthete to synesthete.


Are Mirror-Touch synesthetes more empathic?


Since the mirror-system of such synesthetes show a higher activity, researchers found a higher level of empathy. Mirror-touch synesthetes experience more empathy than non-synesthetes.


With an empathy quotient, researchers measure empathy. This empathy quotient uses 3 scales: cognitive empathy, emotional reactivity, and social skills.


Mirror-Touch synesthetes showed a higher score for emotional reactivity, but not for the other two.


Empathy seems to be multifaceted and cannot be explained merely by this type of synesthesia. Interesting is, that also meditation appears to increase compassion and empathy.


Mirror-Pain activity: Only For the Daredevils.


Mirror-Pain Synesthesia is when you feel somebody being in pain. There are reports of doctors that feel the pain or their patients.


Try it out with our short exercise about Mirror Pain Synesthesia. Attention, this may hurt a little bit.


You will see a movie, observe curiously how you feel.


Mirror-Pain Activity


if you want to learn more about other types of synesthesia, read our article.