TECH
11/11/2013 04:25 GMT

Girl With Synesthesia Can 'Feel' Machines

Synesthesia is an unusual and poorly understood neurological condition in which a person involuntary experiences a stimuli in a normally unassociated pathway.

Perhaps someone will 'see' colours in numbers or certain music could evoke different shapes - there are over 60 documented types.

But a 15-year-old girl is claiming she has an even more unusual form - she can 'feel' machines.

hand robot

If true it is a remarkable case

'Mirror-touch' synesthesia is where an individual can feel the sensation or emotion of another although up until now this has been limited to people.

The girl - known as Kaylee - empathises with machines to such a degree she can experience their feelings.

In an interview with Psychology Today, she said: "The more extreme the movement is, the stronger I feel it.

"For example, when watching cars crash in a movie, I feel them as they’re ripped and crush, and I usually have to turn away and cut myself off from the stimulus."

As if that wasn't remarkable enough Kaylee also experiences a number of other types of synesthesia.

She said: "I have grapheme-color (associative), personality-color (associative), color-number (associative), sound-touch, sound-kinetic, and sometimes mirror-touch reactions to people, but not often.

Kaylee is keen to point out that what she experiences is different from being directly influenced by the motion of a boat or car for example.

She said: "When using a lock on a door, I feel aware of the pins rising and falling against the key as if I'm running my finger under them instead of a key.

"Clocks are so delicate and minute in their design and visible movement I barely feel them tickle the hair on my arms."

Perhaps ironically though she says it is harder to feel connect to human-esque robots as "their similarity to my already-existing limbs is confusing".

Russian psychologist, Dr. Sidoroff-Dorso, says the case is the most remarkable he has ever seen."If this case can be verified, I will rank it most revealing about human nature!

"This is because of the degree that we can 'appropriate' the observable world, even to the extent of empathising with non-living things."

Read the full interview here.

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK | FOLLOW US ON TWITTER