Misophonia: What is that annoying sound?


Misophonia, Greek for ‘hatred’ of sound, is a complex neuropsychological and neurobehavioral disorder. Those suffering from this disorder typically present an often intense and inconsolable emotional reaction to stimuli, typically in the form of sounds. Typical triggers range from chewing food, items rustling, clocks ticking, keyboard typing, to lip smacking. Unfortunately there is no treatment and little research for this often debilitating disorder. The goal of this study is to develop robust screening for clinical characterization of misophonia, and to investigate the autonomic responses and areas that activate in cortex. The first phase of our research rigorously characterizes misophonia, developing a combination of valid and non-confounding questionnaires/instruments. The second phase of our research measures the physiological responses of misophonia subjects in response to a range of typical auditory triggers. These responses will be recorded and analyzed, and compared with a non-misophonic, normal-hearing control group. Results are currently forthcoming in this multi-phase study. The data currently collected initially appears to align with research that suggests misophonia differs from other auditory and anxiety/mood disorders (i.e OCD). Those who continue to screen for ‘true’ misophonia will likely support the hypotheses that auditory triggers will significantly increase autonomic sympathetic responses as measured via skin conductance response (SCR) and heart rate (HR) compared to control subjects in our second phase of study.

Undergraduate Research Symposium

Poster Presentation
Poster Presentation