Clinicians and researchers familiar with misophonia continue to puzzle over the reasons sufferers typically report being triggered by the same sounds. These sounds are typically pattern-based, or repetitive, and often come from people or animals (but also include non-organic sounds such as motors). Common examples of person-emanated sounds include breathing, sniffling, chewing, throat clearing, and pencil tapping.
Why these sounds? Why not other sounds?
In order to understand what it is about these particular sounds that trigger misophonia sufferers, we propose a pilot study, conducted in consultation with Dr. Suhkbinder Kumar of Newcastle University, Dr. Tammy Reigner of Nemours Hospital, and Mercede Efranian of the University of Amsterdam, using software to “deconstruct” these particular sounds
In order to do this, we will use a database of sounds, including typical misophonic sounds, recorded by Efranian. Using advanced software, we will analyze the acoustic properties of these sounds, including frequency/pitch, repetition, and frequency modulation.
The results of the proposed study will aid in determining:
- What acoustically differentiates misophonic sounds from other auditory stimuli
- What is it about these sounds that triggers individuals with misophonia,
- Whether there may be new ways to help people with misophonia based on the acoustic properties of these sounds
This study is a part of the Duke Misophonia and Emotion Regulation Program.