Anger, disgust and fear in response to sounds
Hyperacusis is the condition in which patients experience an intolerance of general everyday sounds. In misophonia, patients experience involuntary overwhelming aggressive agitation (commonly anger, irritation or disgust) towards a person producing sounds associated with eating (e.g. crunching, chewing, slurping, swallowing), and/or coughing, tapping, ticking, breathing, and other human- but not animal-generated sounds. Both conditions are currently poorly understood, but cause substantial suffering and interference with a healthy psychosocial development. Pavlovian learning of intense emotional reactions to innocuous sounds has been put forward as an etiological mechanism underlying both conditions. The major aim of the present PhD project is to establish an experimental paradigm allowing for the study of Pavlovian learning and emotional regulation processes relevant for hyperacusis and/or misophonia.