Why Vicarious Experience Is Not an Instance of Synesthesia


A vicarious experience is an empathetic state in response to the observation of others' sensations, emotions, and actions. Synesthesia denotes a condition that leads to specific experiences in response to normal sensory input that is not experienced by non-synesthetes. Here, we argue that the label synesthesia should be reserved for canonical cases of synesthesia (such as grapheme-color or lexical-gustatory) and we outline similarities and differences between synesthesia and vicarious experiences.

Frontiers in Human Neuroscience