Have you ever been bothered by a co-worker clicking his pen or get annoyed when someone breaths too fast? At some point, most of us have expressed a feeling of annoyance towards repeating sounds. However, according to a recent study, people suffering from a condition called misophonia can experience extreme symptoms when faced with repeating sounds.
Although this is the first time scientists have studied the possibility that misophonia might be a legitimate mental condition, previous attempts proved to be debatable. However, the new study published by a team of British researcher not only recognized the condition but also explain, that, in certain circumstance, misophonia might induce extreme reactions in individuals.
So, what is misophonia? According to the new status quo, misophonia is a mental condition caused by a faulty brain connection located in the frontal lobe. Patients with this condition can have an abnormal reaction to loud and repeating sounds.
For example, the clicking sound made by a pen or even the sound of someone’s breath are easily ignored by a person who’s not suffering from this condition. However, patients with misophonia are deeply stirred by these sounds, up to the point where they trigger a fight of flight reaction.
Furthermore, it would seem that, in some cases, patients may experience heart palpitations and sweating when exposed to repeating sounds. So, what causes misophonia?
To find the answer to this question, Tim Griffiths of the Newcastle University and University College of London together with his team of neurologists asked 20 persons who experienced misophonia-like symptoms to participate in a clinical study, which involved studying emotional control systems using MRI imaging.
In order to better see the difference in brain formation, Griffiths and his team asked 22 healthy individuals to serve as the control group. After scanning the misophonia patients’ brains and confronting the scans with those taken from the healthy individuals, Griffiths discovered that the condition is caused by a faulty connection situated in the frontal lobe.
So, what happens when a person suffering from misophonia is exposed to repeating sounds? Griffiths pointed out that a patient’s brain basically goes into overdrive when exposed to repeating sounds like the click of the pen, breathing, and even blinking.
The head researcher also pointed out that the condition has other signs. For example, patients suffering from this condition might experience heart palpitations and even sweat when exposed to these sounds.
Image source: Flickr