Motor synesthesia

Alternative names could be kinetic synesthesia or kinesthetic synesthesia

This term could be used to designate any type of synesthesia that has a component related to body movement, as an inducer or, particularly, as a concurrent.

Few studies have yet been conducted on these types of synesthesia and in general they do not even have a name yet, although it is likely that they will become better known in future and there will be proposals for “official” titles.

The term “motor synesthesia” could cover the following types:

Lexical-motor synesthesia (which has also been called audio-motor)

With this type of synesthesia, different words – proper nouns in particular but also other words – are associated with particular body movements. The synesthete associates them consciously on hearing the name or word in question, even feeling compelled to carry them out. It is an uncommon but interesting type: an article informed of a single case in 1966, and in recent years (2020-2022) I've found a few more cases and even had the chance to chat online with someone who experiences this exact phenomenon.

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Mirror kinetics

When people with mirror kinetics observe others moving or assuming certain postures they feel an automatic impulse to assume the same postures or make the same movements.

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Auditory-motor synesthesia, which could also be called auditory-kinetic synesthesia or sound-to-kinetics.

Some people with auditory-tactile synesthesia experience involuntary movements of different parts of the body, specific and consistent, in response to certain sounds.

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The prevalence of these types is unknown and they are considered very rare, but they are probably more common than is currently believed, as they are not generally acknowledged types of synesthesia.

Types of synesthesia triggered by movement as an inducer:

Motion-to-sound synesthesia

In this case, seeing the movement of other people or objects, or seeing or feeling the movements of one’s own body, evoke an auditory synesthetic concurrent. It is sometimes called “hearing motion”.

Go to the page on motion-to-sound synesthesia

Kinetics-colour synesthesia

This type of synesthesia is when one’s own body movements trigger a visual concurrent: a colour is perceived.

Go to the page on kinetics-colour synesthesia

This page last updated: 2 July 2024

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