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Mirror-touch synesthesia is linked with empathy

By Michael J. Banissy and Jamie Ward

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

Topics: C800, C830, C850
Year: 2007
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.gold.ac.uk:5991
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  • http://doi.org/10.1038/nn1926 (external link)
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