Does the sound of other people chewing, slurping a drink, or taking a deep inhale drive you crazy? If so, you might have misophonia, which translates to a hatred of certain sounds that elicits an emotional or physiological response. It can make some people angry, anxious or utterly disgusted. The good news is, scientists have recently discovered why these commonly innocuous sounds are overwhelming to others.
Researchers at Newcastle University have found through the analysis of brain scans that people with misophonia had stronger instances of activity connecting the area of the brain that processes sound and the premotor cortex, the area of the brain responsible for movement in the mouth and throat.
According to the report, when researchers played a “trigger sound” for the subjects with misophonia, their brain scans portrayed hyperactivity in their premotor cortex. The volunteer subjects who didn’t have misophonia didn’t display those levels of hyperactivity in their scans. The study’s scientists hope that if these findings are bolstered by further research, they can pursue treatments and therapies that would target the brain’s motor responses.
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