Mirror Touch: A Memoir of Synesthesia and the Secret Life of the Brain (Paperback)
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In this “rich, fascinating portrait of extraordinary sensory awareness” (Kirkus), acclaimed neurologist Joel Salinas, M.D., tells his amazing true story of living and practicing medicine with mirror-touch synesthesia, a rare neurological trait that allows him to literally feel the emotional and physical experiences of other people. From the corridors of Massachusetts General to his personal life, Salinas offers readers remarkable insights about his trait, its gifts, and its often unforgiving complications, and teaches us how our brain, in all its wonder, continues to offer limitless possibilities for compassion and human potential.
Beautifully written and wholly original, Mirror Touch is a moving account of an exceptional mind that challenges our understanding of what it means to be human—everything it means to think, to feel, and to be.
JOEL SALINAS is a Harvard-trained clinical researcher and neurologist at Massachusetts General, where he specializes in brain health, social epidemiology, neuropsychiatry, and cognitive behavioral neurology. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
“Joel Salinas takes his reader into the harrowing, tender, and sometimes brutal realities of living with mirror-touch synesthesia. But the book’s reach is wider and deeper than the condition. It is nothing less than a reflection on human empathy itself, a book for everyone.” — Siri Hustvedt, author of What I Loved
“Vicarious and enthralling…. A rich, fascinating portrait of extraordinary sensory awareness.” — Kirkus Reviews
“He writes with depth and candor and immediacy, as well as a great deal of compassion in the Oliver Sacks tradition. I laughed, I cried… I found myself nodding in recognition. I predict this book will be a classic not only in the synesthesia literature, but in all of neuroscience.” — Psychology Today
“A brilliant book that elegantly combines personal narrative with insights into the underlying science.” — V.S. Ramachandran, author of The Tell-Tale Brain and Phantoms in the Brain