Mirror-Touch Synesthesia: A Super Human Condition

My recent post, 5 Amazing Facts About Empaths, was incredibly interesting to research. What peaked my interest the most was a condition called Mirror-Touch Synesthesia. I only briefly touched on it at the time, but real life (Science Backed) super powers are so intriguing that I couldn’t let this one go. So I’m starting a series of posts focusing on mutations, conditions, diseases, and disorders that have created real life Super Humans. Starting with Mirror-Touch Synesthesia.

What is Mirror-Touch Synesthesia?

Synesthesia is essentially a crossing of the senses. Some people might hear colors, others can see music. Mirror-Touch Synesthesia (MTS) is a condition that mixes sight and touch. It is a rare condition, affecting only 1-2% of the population. Individuals who possess MTS can very literally feel the physical sensations that others feel. As an example, if you possess mirror touch, and you watch a friend fall off their bike, you would be able to feel the concrete scrape across your skin just as if you had been the one to take the fall. On the flip-side, you would also be able to feel a hug shared between family members, a loving touch on the cheek, or others holding hands.

What are the Symptoms?

There are 2 main symptoms of MTS. The ability to feel the sensations one witnesses others experience, and heightened empathy. We’ve discussed the physical portion, but MTS comes with the heavy burden of increased emotional empathy as well. Many people who have MTS feel others emotions so strongly they have trouble separating their own emotions from those around them.

What causes Mirror-Touch Synesthesia?

The scientific jury is still out on the specific cause of MTS. However they have narrowed it down to Neurons. One theory is overactive Mirror-Neurons. Mirror neurons are active in our brains when we are about to act, as well as when we see another completing an action. The other theory, is that a ‘crossing of the wires’ in brains of individuals with MTS. In essence, the neurons that control the vision and touch sensations have crossed.

Notable Cases of MTS

Joel Salinas

Joel Salinas is a neurologist who has Mirror-Touch Synesthesia. His condition, like most with MTS, is both a blessing and a curse. He has been outspoken about about his journey, even publishing a Memoir. As a neurologist, he has a unique perspective on the condition. He has the ability to truly understand the science behind his condition, and a way to connect with his patients on a level few others are capable of.

Megan Pohlmann 

Megan Pohlmann is a pediatric nurse, who has lived with MTS all her life. Although early on she didn’t know the cause of her overwhelming intuition, she was later diagnosed with Mirror-Touch Synesthesia. While it can be overwhelming, her condition helps her connect with patients. Most importantly, it gives her the extraordinary ability to assist with non verbal patients (especially infants).


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26 thoughts on “Mirror-Touch Synesthesia: A Super Human Condition

  1. I recently watched a video about synesthesia.
    It is mind-blowing, especially the first time you hear about it!

    1. It’s so interesting! I really enjoyed the research on this piece.

  2. What an interesting condition! I can’t remember where I heard about it, but thank you for reminding me and giving additional details.

  3. Such an intersting article u are shared…Thanks for sharing this post, it was great reading this article

  4. Really it was an awesome article…very interesting to read..You have provided an nice article

  5. This was really interesting to read about as I hadn’t heard of it before. Now I’m about to go fall down the black hole of reading stories about it lol

    1. It’s a pretty interesting condition, I spent a lot of hours reading about it for this post and I really enjoyed it.

  6. wow, I’m in the medical field and yet this is the first time i read about this! Very interesting! thanks for sharing!

  7. I love X-men since I was young. And I used to imagine being a mutant. But like the experienceS of those mentioned here, it isn’t easy at all.

    1. I learned a little but about synesthesia in high school. I find this very fascinating! Thanks for the informative post

  8. Mirror-Touch Synesthesia is something I first time came to know about through your post. Our world is a mystery, we can expect anything here.

  9. I believe you did extensive research on the article. Thank you for sharing.

  10. So interesting! I’m an empath and although it has some advantages, it has made me quite an introvert. It can be overwhelming to be around most people 🙁 I couldn’t imagine being able to not only feel their emotions but also their physical feelings as well!

    1. Same with me . 🙂

  11. Interesting, I’ve never heard of this.

  12. I always find super human senses very interesting. I really enjoyed reading your post.

  13. This is really interesting. It sounds like a super cool series you are starting. Excited to see what comes next.

  14. Woah! I never knew anything like Mirror-Touch Synesthesia exists in real! I thought that’s a movie thing! Thank you for letting me know that this is an actual medical condition!

    1. I learned a little about synesthesia in high school. I find this extremely fascinating! Thanks for the informative post

  15. Wow, I’ve never heard of this before but it’s really interesting.

  16. […] Aside from the potential medical benefits for curing muscular dystrophy, should scientists be looking for ways to enhance your average human? Would you want to have super strength or enhanced athletic ability? Let me know what you think in the comments! If you’re interested in learning more about real-life superhumans, check out my post on Mirror-Touch Synesthesia. […]

  17. I had never hear about this.Awesome and very interesting..

  18. Insert mind blown emoji. WOW!! This is super interesting. I found a number of your posts very interesting. I’ll be back for more reads.

  19. Such an interesting article. Thank You, I had never hear about this!

  20. Woh! What is this? Never heard until now. Well written.

    1. Thanks for reading, I’m glad I could Introduce you to something new!

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