What is the worst eating noise

Misophony: When we can't stand certain sounds

For many, just scratching the chalk on a blackboard is scary. However, some people find it even more unbearable when the person sitting next to them just chews

Misophony - the hatred of sounds

Almost everyone shudders when they think of how awful it sounded when Teacher used to scratch the blackboard with a piece of chalk.

But some people find it even more unbearable when the person sitting next to them just chews. That seems bizarre, or even pathological: Misophonia - literally from the Greek: "hatred of noises" - was taken as a symptom of an obsessive-compulsive disorder.

This assessment is obviously wrong. According to a study by a team led by neuroscientist Olana Tansley-Hancock, the brain activity in misophonics shows a peculiarity: the researchers measured increased activity in the anterior islet cortex for certain noises; where it is decided where we direct our attention.

Misophonists need to focus on certain sounds

A completely "normal" process, with the difference, of course, that misophonics often cannot help but direct their attention to sometimes insignificant noises: the clatter of keys, nibbling on the cob, rustling paper.

In addition, other brain regions are also more strongly activated, responsible for emotions, for example. For this reason, those affected react extremely sensitively; with racing heart, thoughts of flight and sweating.

There are autobiographical reasons why Olana Tansley-Hancock is one of the few who takes on this clinical picture. Because the researcher has suffered from a pronounced form of misophonia since she was seven. But the doctors she consulted only laughed at the child at the time.

In the meantime, the scientist has a few tricks ready to cover up her suffering. Sometimes she wears earplugs or tries - when she eats in the canteen - to mask the noises of the neighbors eating: by simply chewing in sync with them.