Misophonia: Confusion about Terms

The International Misophonia Research Network (IMRN).

Misophonia: What’s in a Name?

MisophoniaNameDisorder names are imperfect and terms change as new discoveries are realized.

It is terribly confusing and misophonia has fallen prey to this problem.

The history of the name

We hope this will help clear up some confusion.

Dr. Pawel Jastreboff (Professor of Otolaryngology at Emory University) and Margaret Jastreboff (Audiologist with a PhD in Biology) first used the term misophonia in 2001.


They discriminated between patients with hyperacusis (aversive responding to loud noise) and misophonia patients who appeared to respond aversively to soft, patterned-based noises.


Johnson (an audiologist and founder of the Misophonia Association) preferred “Selective Sound Sensitivity Syndrome” as people do not hate all “sounds”.

If you aren’t confused yet…

Schröder, Vulink & Denys (2013) proposed the term misokinesia. Misokinesia means “hatred of  movement”. However, the term is often misinterpreted as describing  the visual element of misophonia (i.e. any visual stimuli that triggers aversive responsivity). 

Do people with misokinesia hate all movement, or do they only hate movement that they “see with their eyes” and not that they “feel with their bodies”? Is misokinesia part of misophonia, or are they two different disorders?


Since the 1990’s  the term Sensory Over-Responsive describes a neurologically based disorder in which individuals misinterpret auditory, visual and other stimuli as dangerous. This is a subtype of Sensory Processing Disorder and includes auditory stimuli. Before 2001 when misophonia was termed, many of us were using the term “auditory over-responsivity”.

Pronunciation of the Name

There is little consensus on this, and I wouldn’t concern be overly concerned with it. Shaylynn Hayes (Editor-In-Chief of Misophonia International) believes: if we look at words such as “miso”-gynist and the latin pronunciation of “miso” it would make sense to pronounce the two words similarly.

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