02/08/2017 12:18 EST

Misophonia Is The Reason Why Some Get Angry At Eating Sounds: Study

Turns out something as simple as eating a bag of chips can really make people angry and we mean angry. And recently, scientists have figured out why.

According to a new study published in the Current Biology journal, the condition is called misophonia, the BBC reports, and it has to do with brain function.

The site adds U.K. scientists say some people's brains produce an "excessive emotional response" when it comes to eating sounds.

"They are going into overdrive when they hear these sounds, but the activity was specific to the trigger sounds not the other two sounds," Dr. Sukhbinder Kumar, from the U.K.'s Newcastle University told BBC News.

mouth eating chips

In the study, experts scanned the brains of 20 people with misophonia and 22 people without.

Participants were played a range of sounds including rain, people screaming (ouch) and sounds that triggered them.

Scientists found the section of our brains that links our senses with emotions (or the anterior insular cortex), was overly active for people who had misophonia.

"The reaction is anger mostly, it's not disgust, the dominating emotion is the anger — it looks like a normal response, but then it is going into overdrive."

loud sound

According to WebMD, a mild reaction to misophonia can include anxiety, being uncomfortable, the urge to flee or disgust.

Other severe responses include rage, panic, fear and for some, even suicidal thoughts.

"Over time, you may respond to visual triggers, too. Seeing someone get ready to eat or put something in their mouth might set you off," the site notes.


In a 2015 New York Times op-ed, Dr. Barron H. Lerner, a primary care physician with misophonia said he had symptoms of the condition before he knew it was an actual condition.

"For me, one of the most frustrating aspects of misophonia is what I call the 'incredulity factor.' For years, I could not believe that my friends and relatives were not getting as upset at what I considered rude behaviours. They were getting frustrated with me for focusing on sounds they did not really hear," Lerner said.

U.K. researchers hope with new information about the misophonia including research found in this study, it will help them find new forms of treatment.

Also on HuffPost

Phobias: When The Mundane Turns Monstrous