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Mirror speech synesthesia


When someone with this type of synesthesia hears another person speak, they get the feeling that their own mouth, throat and even stomach are moving as if they were producing the same sounds.


It has some similarities with mirror touch synesthesia, and perhaps bears a relationship to auditory-tactile synesthesia. Although it appears to be uncommon (according to Sean Day’s study on the prevalence of the different types, only 0.18% of the 1,143 synesthetes questioned reported having this kind of experience), it is still a little known phenomenon and may therefore be more reported in future. Some people experience it not only as a reaction to others talking but also with general sounds, as can be seen from the descriptions below, although this latter variant is probably extremely rare.



Here are some descriptions written by people with this type of synesthesia:

“It's a strange, extremely vivid sensation of physically speaking (tongue motions, lip movements, air in my throat) when I'm not, and my mouth/tongue/throat aren't actually moving.”

(Source: This comment on the online debate platform Reddit/Synesthesia. 2020.)


"…forgetting to breathe because I can't remember if I've actually taken a breath or if it was just someone else... or choking on someone else's snores or coughs...!"

(Source: This comment on the online debate platform Reddit/Synesthesia. 2020.)


“I have a sensation in back of my throat corresponding to the sounds I hear, except it applies to all sounds, not just speech or singing. It feels almost like a sort of opening or closing in my throat (which isn't actually happening), combined with the "texture" (how smooth/rough a sound is). The sensation can also have a feeling of motion that might extend out, up, or down into my head or chest."


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