People with mirror-touch synaesthesia experience tactile sensations on their own body when viewing similar experiences to other people (e.g. viewing touch or pain to others). We work with people that have mirror-touch and mirror-pain synaesthesia  (where seeing pain evokes painful sensations on the observer’s own body) in order to better understand factors that contribute to their experiences and to tell us more about how we all understand and share the feelings of others.

We are currently running a number of studies related to mirror-touch and mirror-pain synaesthesia in London (UK), Sussex (UK), and Cambridge (UK). If you think you might have either of these experiences and would be interested in finding out more about  taking part in our research then please contact Michael (m.banissy@gold.ac.uk) and / or Natalie (n.bowling@sussex.ac.uk).

Some resources on mirror-touch and mirror-pain synaesthesia can be found below (for scientific publications please see our articles page):

  • Hear Michael talk about mirror-touch on BBC Radio and NPR.
  • Read about the science and experiences of mirror-touch in this article.
  • Read about the experiences of mirror-touch in this article.
  • Dr Joel Salinas’ webpage – a doctor with mirror-touch synaesthesia.
  • Watch a series of videos about the science, art, and lived experiences of mirror-touch on the Tate Modern channel.
  • Michael gave a Keynote Lecture about mirror-sensory synaesthesia at the inaugural Synesthesia Symposium hosted by the International Association of Synaesthetes, Artists, and Scientists (IASAS). The talk can be found in this video from the whole event (Michael’s talk starts around 7:38:00).

We would like to thank all volunteers that have helped to support our work and helped raise awareness of mirror-touch and mirror-pain synaesthesia – we couldn’t do it without you.


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We will be exhibiting our work on mirror-touch and other types of synaesthesia at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition in July. Please come along to learn and take part in our exhibit!