Mirror-touch synesthesia is linked with empathy

Michael J. Banissy*, Jamie Ward

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

196 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Watching another person being touched activates a similar neural circuit to actual touch and, for some people with 'mirror-touch' synesthesia, can produce a felt tactile sensation on their own body. In this study, we provide evidence for the existence of this type of synesthesia and show that it correlates with heightened empathic ability. This is consistent with the notion that we empathize with others through a process of simulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)815-816
Number of pages2
JournalNature Neuroscience
Volume10
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jul 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
M.J.B. is supported by an Economic and Social Research Council studentship.

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