If you've ever had an involuntary physical reaction to the sound of someone eating, you're not alone. A study by researchers in the Netherlands confirms there's an enhanced connection between the brain and the hearing system.
They wanted to see whether certain cases of intense aversion to chewing sounds, or misophonia, could be classified as an actual disorder. Participants in the study were particularly bothered by sounds produced by humans, and many became deeply upset and angry over the presence of these noises.
Some medical professionals are pushing to classify extreme cases of misophonia — where people have physical, psychological, and even aggressive reactions to sounds — as discrete psychiatric conditions. Doing so would open up avenues for treatment and research into the causes of the reaction and whether it relates to actual issues within the ears, or just perception in the brain. Maybe one day (we can only hope) such research will unveil a method for putting a stop to the distress and reaction itself.