Does Misophonia Affect the Ability to Learn?

Chances are, you know someone who finds a variety of sounds including chewing, slurping or eating, the clicking of a pen and many more, extremely annoying. Scientifically known as misophonia, there is no known cause for the condition, however, as more and more research is being done, it has become clear that for those who suffer from misophonia, the sounds are much more than just an annoyance. And now, new research shows that misophonia sufferers may have challenges learning as well.

Recently, the journal Applied Cognitive Psychology published their findings. A group of 72 students was randomly assigned one of two groups. One group studied in silence while in the other group, a decoy student chewed gum loudly while the students tried to study. Both groups had study sessions of six minutes and then took a comprehension test in silence.

Students who scored higher on misophonia sensitivity (AKA those students who were particularly sensitive to sounds like chewing gum) performed worse on the comprehension test if they studied with the gum chewer. Those with higher misophonia sensitivity who studied in silence performed better on the test.

The author of the study, Logan Fiorella had this to say, “Some people are especially sensitive to relatively subtle specific background sounds like chewing and this sensitivity can be distracting enough to impair learning.”

While there is no known exact cause of the condition, what is known is that misophonia is a neurological condition in which auditory, and sometimes visual, stimuli are misinterpreted within the central nervous system. And the research around misophonia, which began in the 1990s when it was officially recognized as a medical condition, is expanding, giving hope to the approximately 15% of adults who have it.

Of course, there are also many people at the other end of the spectrum when it comes to learning and noise. Many people find background noise to be relaxing. And while there are many “trigger” sounds for those who do have misophonia, there are also many ways to aid study time from finding a quiet study place to earplugs and noise-canceling headphones or even learning to concentrate on one’s own sounds. Some companies even offer music designed specifically to aid concentration called ‘study music’.

If you or a loved one are suffering from misophonia and are seeking care, it is important to find a doctor who is an expert in the workings of the brain and central nervous system. Chiropractic Neurologists are uniquely suited to work with misophonia patients by working to restore the brain to optimal functioning through natural therapies.

If you would like to learn more about how Chiropractic Neurology can help, please contact the team at the Georgia Chiropractic Neurology Center today.

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