You Hate Noises Of Eating And Chewing Due To Overdriven Brain

Posted: Feb 6 2017, 7:02am CST | by , in News | Latest Science News

 

You Hate Noises of Eating and Chewing due to Overdriven Brain
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  • Misophonia: The Syndrome where Certain Noises get on Your Nerves
 

It is called misophonia and it is the syndrome where certain noises seem to get on your nerves.

Although people often show a certain level of polite tolerance in such matters, there are a few of us who just cannot stand the sounds of loud chewing or heavy breathing. It shows that the brain is working in overdrive.

Termed misophonia, this ailment is one of the level of sensitivity a person possesses. People with misophonia absolutely hate such sounds as eating, chewing or the clicking of a ball point pen. The trigger sounds send the brain into a tailspin and hormones of fight, fright and flight are sent cascading into the brain. 

Those who are afflicted with this syndrome tend to get very nervous at the slightest hint of irritating or repetitive sounds. That is because these sounds actually change the structure of the brain and its activity. It is basically an abnormality in the emotional reaction system.

The frontal lobe is responsible for this sort of reaction in the first place. In normal people, the reactions to these sounds are suppressed and so they hardly show any signs of being upset. Yet in those who are susceptible to the syndrome, the slightest sound causes perspiration and the heart begins beating faster.  

Research efforts uncovered why many people will balk at the mere hint of a noise pattern that won’t bother others in the least bit. While there are those who contend that it is not a real disorder, for those suffering from it, it is very real indeed.

MRI brain scans of patients with this malady showed a high degree of myelination in the grey matter of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex.

Among the range of sounds that got tested on these patients were: raindrops on a window, a busy café environment, a bawling baby, a person screaming, breathing and eating. The connection of the frontal lobe with the anterior insular cortex was very strong in these patients.  

The reactions of the patients were noted down. Even knowing that the disorder is real is in itself a very reassuring fact for the patients. It means that they now know that they are not pretending or over-reacting.

The sort of brain activity that is produced as a result of misophonia is not just a wishy washy feeling. It has its basis in the biology of the brain so it is not to be dismissed in such an offhand manner. 

The findings of this study got published in the journal Current Biology.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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