Mirror- touch synesthesia (MTS) is a condition that allows individuals to experience the same sensation that another person feels.
For the research, conducted at the University of Delaware, DePasquale led a screening process involving 2,351 undergraduate students. Each student was shown videos of hands being touched and then asked if they could feel anything, where the touch was felt, and the strength of the sensation. Of the students screened, 45 were found to have MTS.
“When I would debrief them, many would tell me about sensations they felt while watching movies,” DePasquale says. “It was almost as if they were a part of the movie—feeling touch, pain and other physical sensations that the characters were experiencing.”