Researchers for the first time have identified the parts of the brain involved in a less-commonly studied trigger of misophonia, a condition associated with an extreme aversion to certain sounds.
The results, from Ohio State University scientists, suggest that one popular explanation of what causes misophonia may not be correct.
Individuals with misophonia, which afflicts up to 20% of people, feel anger, disgust and a desire to flee when they hear certain sounds.
Chewing and similar noises from the mouth are most often associated with the condition. A previous study suggested that misophonia is caused by supersensitive connections between the brain’s auditory cortex and orofacial motor control areas – those related to the face and mouth.
But this new study is the first to examine what happens in the brain when people tapped their fingers repeatedly – another sound that can be a trigger for some people with misophonia.