Why Hearing People Eat Makes Certain Individuals Really Mad

A new study reveals how certain sounds trigger such extreme anger

February 6, 2017
Photo: The Howard Stern Show

If you’ve ever heard someone eating loudly and felt slightly murderous, turns out there may be some scientific justification for that.

A new study published recently revealed that people who possess misophonia, a rare brain condition, have an emotional “fight or flight” response to hearing someone eat loudly, among other certain sounds. The study had a group of participants — half with misophonia and half without — listen to certain sounds, ranging from annoying to neutral. When the subjects with misophonia heard the annoying sounds, their heart rates increased and sweating ensued.

When researchers examined the brain scans, they saw that wiring between different parts of the brain is different in people who reacted strongly. In the subjects with misophonia, the anterior insular cortex (AIC) was more active when they heard the annoying sounds. Since the AIC is connected to to many other regions of the brain, the bodily responses were more extreme.

Read more about the study here.

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