Institute of Neuroscience

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Research discovers brain areas linked to misophonia

Dr Sukhbinder Kumar has published new research on misophonia, a condition where people find some noises, such as people eating, unbearable to listen to.

Misophonia is the condition of finding some noises, such as people chewing, breathing or clicking a pen; unbearable to listen to. Although this is something that many people may have experienced for some it can become so severe that it impacts on their daily life and ability to interact with others. Until now many sufferers have struggled to get the help they need as many medical practitioners have not heard of or do not understand the condition.

A new paper published by Dr Sukhbinder Kumar with colleagues from our auditory research group and others at UCL may help to promote better recognition of the condition and its effects. The paper published in Current Biology showed that the brains of misophonics (people with misophonia) showed different patterns of activity when listening to sounds compared with those who do not suffer from the disorder. These differences were in the frontal lobe and the anterior insular cortex, structures thought to be involved with the processing of emotions. The team hope that this research will help not only to shed light on the condition but also to potential treatments.

You can read the official press release on the Newcastle University press office website, or the scientific paper in Current Biology.

published on: 6 February 2017