Hyperesthesia (or hyperaesthesia) is a condition that involves an abnormal increase in sensitivity to stimuli of the sense. "When a non-noxious stimulus causes the sensation of pain the area will be termed hyperaesthetic". Stimuli of the senses can include sound that one hears, foods that one tastes, textures that one feels, and so forth. Increased touch sensitivity is referred to as "tactile hyperesthesia", and increased sound sensitivity is called "auditory hyperesthesia". Tactile hyperesthesia may be a common symptom of many neurologic disorders such as herpes zoster, peripheral neuropathy and radiculopathies. In 1979, and then in 1994, Merskey, Bogduk, Noordenbos, Devor and others (a subcommittee of International Association for the Study of Pain) proposed, instead of hyperaestheia, the concept of allodynia, meaning "other pain", defined as a pain resulting from a stimulus that does not normally provoke pain.
In psychology, Jeanne Siaud-Facchin uses the term by defining it as an "exacerbation des sens":37 that characterizes gifted children (and adults): for them, the sensory information reaches the brain much faster than the average, and the information is processed in a significantly shorter time.