Scientific research is the surest path to understanding misophonia, what causes it, and how to combat it. This is because scientific studies use stringent methods and review by experienced professionals to test the causes and effects of the disorder. In an experimental study, scientists test the effect of a particular independent variable on the phenomena they are studying. This allows them to make determinations about how, for example, factors in the brain relate to changes in behavior, or how the presence of trigger sounds and non-trigger sounds affect misophonics’ heart rates. In similarly important survey studies, researchers collect information from individuals, in order to make determinations about a population. For example, they may examine the rate of disorder in a population, or the age-range of sufferers. Though there has not been much research on misophonia as of yet, it is important to understand the research that is out there, and the conclusions that may be drawn from it.
- Very few peer reviewed articles (under 25)
- Out of those, very few are experimental in nature, meaning they rely mainly on case studies and the experiences of very few people
- Regardless, there is agreement across the small body of research that:
- Misophonia is real and varies in severity from mild to severe
- Underlying mechanisms are auditory and neurological with behavioral, cognitive, and emotional responses
- Misophonia should not be classified as any specific type of disorder (i.e. psychiatric or auditory but should be researched and conceptualized across multi-disciplinary fields such as audiology, psychology, neurology, neuroscience, medicine, nursing, occupational therapy, etc.
- Across these disciplines it appears that misophonia is best described as a neurophysiological disorder that has to do with atypical connections between the auditory pathways in the brain and the pathways in which emotions are processed, particularly fight/flight