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What is Misokinesia?

Misokenesia is characterized by experiencing deeply aversive reactions when visually perceiving certain human movements. The reactions usually involves a feeling of annoyance, irritation, anger, and often even intense rage. While anxiety is associated with misokinesia, anger tends to consistently be reported as the predominant reaction. There is no specific criteria for the types of visual perceptions, or visual triggers, which can illicit the misokinesic reaction. A commonly reported characteristic of visual triggers involve movements which are described as repetitive or patterned. At times the person does not have to visually see that the visual trigger is occurring, but the mere awareness that it is happening can illicit a misokinesic reaction. Common Examples of Misokinesic Visual Triggers (MVTs)

  • Face Touching

  • Playing with Fingers

  • Hand Motions

  • Mouth Movement

  • Leg Shaking

  • Finger Tapping

Is Misokinesia related to Misophonia? Yes. Based on my research and clinical work, there is no qualitative difference between misophonia and misokinesia. They both elicit the same reactions to triggers. The only difference is that the trigger is perceived by a different sensory route. In fact, it is very common for individuals to experience symptoms of both misophonia and misokinesia. This is one of the reasons that led me to believe that misophonia is not a hearing related problem, but rather psychological in nature. Why is Misophonia Significantly More well-known than Misokinesia? The primary reason is likely related to how misophonia became known in the first place. Misophonia was born out of audiology research since individuals suffering from symptoms of misophonia were often referred to audiologists. The term misophonia was actually coined in 2000 by audiologists (Drs. Pawel and Margaret Jastreboff). From within audiology a growing research body started to develop on misophonia, and in 2013 the idea of misophonia being related to psychiatric variables was suggested. It was only through research into misophonia that symptoms of misokinesia were identified as there is comorbidity between the two. Thus, misophonia was always the primary focus in research, and misokinesia was found later but never received the same level of attention. Another reason is likely related to the research findings that misokinesia is reported to occur less often than misophonia. Nevertheless, further research is necessary to understand how prevalent misokinesia actually is.

For more information on misokinesia please visit other pages on misophonia as most of the information tends to be directly related to misokinesia as well. In fact, when I use the term misophonia I am referring to misokinesia as well since there does not seem to be a qualitative difference between them.

This is a blogpost originally written by Dr. Ezra Cowen


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