Disrupted computations of social control in individuals with obsessive-compulsive and misophonia symptoms

iScience. 2022 Jun 16;25(7):104617. doi: 10.1016/j.isci.2022.104617. eCollection 2022 Jul 15.


Misophonia is a disorder in which certain sounds produced by other people lead to intense negative reactions. It remains unknown how misophonia relates to other psychiatric conditions or impairments. To identify latent constructs underlying symptoms, we conducted a factor analysis consisting of items from questionnaires assessing symptoms of misophonia and other psychiatric conditions. One thousand forty-two participants completed the questionnaires and a social exchange task in which they either could ("controllable") or could not ("uncontrollable") influence future monetary offers from other people. Misophonia and obsessive-compulsive (OC) symptoms loaded onto the same factor. Compared with individuals with low Miso-OC factor scores, individuals with high scores reported higher perceived controllability of their social interactions during the uncontrollable condition and stronger aversion to social norm violations in the uncontrollable compared with the controllable condition. Together, these results suggest misophonia, and OC symptoms share a latent psychiatric dimension characterized by aberrant computations of social controllability.

Keywords: Behavioral neuroscience; Biological sciences; Clinical neuroscience; Neuroscience; Sensory neuroscience.