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Poster A46

Misophonia severity predicts cognitive impairment in the presence of trigger sounds

Poster Session A - Saturday, April 13, 2024, 2:30 – 4:30 pm EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Kate Raymond1 (, Blake Butler; 1Western University

Misophonia is a disorder involving an extreme aversion to specific ordinary sounds, such as chewing and breathing. These “trigger” sounds are easily ignored by typically developed listeners, but elicit negative emotional reactions, physiological stress, and cognitive impairment in people with misophonia. Although misophonia is characterized by distress and impairment, it is not yet classified as a psychological disorder in diagnostic manuals, largely because it is unclear how it should be defined and assessed. The current study recruited participants with and without misophonia (N=140) to 1) evaluate the psychometric properties of the English-translated MisoQuest - a self-report measure of misophonia severity, and 2) determine the extent to which symptom severity is related to cognitive impairment. We first established that the English-translated MisoQuest has excellent internal consistency, strong test-retest reliability, and that scores specifically tap misophonia symptom severity rather than generalized anxiety or broader sensory sensitivities. Importantly, we also demonstrated that MisoQuest scores are meaningfully associated with cognitive impairment. More specifically, participants with higher MisoQuest scores (indicating worse misophonia severity) had poorer reading comprehension than those with lower MisoQuest scores when chewing sounds played in the background during the task. MisoQuest scores did not predict performance in the presence of generally aversive sounds or in silence, suggesting that misophonia is characterized by stimulus specific cognitive impairments. Overall, this study indicates that the MisoQuest is a reliable and useful measure for identifying misophonia in English-speaking individuals and that scores on this measure are related to clinically relevant outcomes.

Topic Area: EMOTION & SOCIAL: Emotion-cognition interactions


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April 13–16  |  2024