Hypersensitivity Towards Human Sounds: an ERP Study in Misophonia
Ruimte basementroom - 1.01Nieuwe Achtergracht 129-B
Misophonia is a psychiatric condition wherein individuals are typically hypersensitive to generic human sounds, such as eating or breathing, that ultimately cause intense feelings of distress or anger. It is often regarded as a disorder related to obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), through over-obsession of these highly specific trigger sounds.The current study evaluated the functionality of the brain its early auditory processing system and the excitatory/inhibitory balance to account for the hypersensitivity by comparing misophonia to OCD patients.
A total of 67 patients diagnosed with misophonia and 42 OCD patients were examined during resting state and an oddball task. The event-related potentials corresponding to the presented tones were examined during the oddball task, whereas neural oscillatory activity was assessed during both eyes closed resting state and an auditory oddball task.
The N1, mismatch negativity (MMN), P3, alpha and gamma activity were primarily examined in this respect. The results revealed that N1, MMN and P3 mean peak amplitudes were greater for misophonics than OCD patients. Both alpha and gamma activity were revealed to be greater in misophonia than OCD, suggesting that misophonics have a common, or perhaps a higher baseline of alpha activity and a natural E/I balance. Additional neural oscillatory effects have been exposed, namely an increase in beta and theta activity for misophonia patients during eyes closed resting state. The increased ERP and oscillatory responses might reflect a contributing factor of the hypersensitivity towards otherwise generic sounds through an altered early sound processing.
Supervision: Dr. S.P. van der Werf