Annoyed by champing, clicking a pen and other similar sounds? Maybe it’s in your brain

(ORDO NEWS) — If it annoys you when someone nearby chomps, clicks a pen, or drums their fingers on a table, then you probably have misophonia, a form of sound intolerance. We tell you what it is.

Infuriates when people around make unpleasant sounds? Get angry when someone nearby champs, knocks or clicks? Scientists think your brain is to blame.

Misophonia is a form of intolerance to certain sounds: chewing, champing, creaking, clicking, tapping, etc. It is believed that between 6 and 20 percent of the population has some form of misophonia, which can cause some form of discomfort. In its most severe form, misophonia can destroy work, family, and other social ties.

Researchers from Newcastle University (UK) decided to study what processes are triggered in the brain when we experience discomfort from annoying sounds. They published a study in which they described the results of their work.

Why some sounds annoy us – the opinion of scientists

In their study, the researchers recruited a group of 75 volunteers who went through an MRI scan. Some of the subjects in one form or another suffered from misophonia.

During brain scans, the scientists turned on various sounds: chewing, which people with misophonia do not like, screaming, which everyone does not like, and rain sounds, which, on the contrary, are pleasant to many people.

Annoyed by champing clicking a pen and other similar sounds Maybe its in your brain 2

The results of the experiment showed that people with misophonia have a stronger connection between two parts of the brain: the auditory cortex and the premotor cortex, which is responsible for the movement of the face, mouth, and throat. And this sounds very logical, because most of the sounds that cause irritation are just related to chewing, swallowing or breathing.

Based on these data, British experts concluded that in people with misophonia, stimulation of the same part of the premotor cortex that activates the masticatory muscles during chewing, for example, is triggered. But why is this annoying?

Researchers believe that people with misophonia also have a stronger connection between the motor and visual cortex.

And when they see and hear a person chomping, mirror neurons are activated in their brains, which are responsible for imitating actions. At the same time, the person listening to the champing does not have full muscle activation, which makes him irritated: he has the impression that the sound has invaded his head.

How to stop getting irritated

British scientists believe that for this it is necessary, as it were, to return control over what is happening to the brain. We hear chomping sounds, but we don’t make them ourselves – and this infuriates.

Try to imitate an action that becomes the source of an unpleasant sound – chew on an imaginary meal, for example. This can help regain control over what is happening and relieve irritation.


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