Here are two ways to find out if you might have synesthesia.
People with synesthesia can be genetically different and may have brains that look and work differently compared to the majority of people who do not have synesthesia. Some people feel burdened by their synesthesia, most feel it’s a gift, and still others feel it's somewhere between these two extremes depending on the situation. Therefore, probably the best way to think of synesthesia, in almost all its variations, is as a neurologic trait or a brain difference.
Many people—perhaps like yourself or someone you know—live with synesthesia and don’t even know it.
If you think you might have synesthesia or, specifically, a form of synesthesia like mirror touch, try out one (or both!) of the validated questionnaires below to find out.
These questionnaires are not like the quizzes and surveys you find in novelty or clickbait websites. These questionnaires are also not clinical tools intended for making any kind of medical diagnosis, treatment, or health planning decisions. These are questionnaires designed by academic brain scientists and are actively being used in neuroscience research at various universities.
By taking these questionnaires, there's a good chance you'll learn something new about yourself while contributing to science. In most cases, that's a win-win for you and for science.
The Vicarious Experiences Questionnaire focuses on experiences like mirror-touch synesthesia. This questionnaire isn’t presently set-up to automatically deliver a score or “diagnosis” and the availability of researchers to follow-up with individual scores can vary. That said, people who generally relate strongly with the answers to these questions are much more likely to be classified as having mirror touch when tested in a controlled laboratory setting. This questionnaire was jointly developed and validated by the Goldsmiths-University of London, the University of Sussex, and the University of Cambridge. Details of this screening questionnaire’s development are available here.
The University of Sussex Synesthesia Questionnaire is a more general research questionnaire about synesthesia as a whole without placing emphasis on any one specific subtype of synesthesia. If you do have synesthesia, the results from this study can also be used as a way for scientists to find volunteers for future synesthesia-related brain research.