Misophonia is an abnormally strong reaction of the limbic and autonomic nervous systems resulting in links between the auditory system and the limbic system that normally would not occur. Misophonia does not have its origins in abnormal activation in the auditory system which can be the case with hyperacusis. The sounds associated with those suffering from Misophonia would not normally create the near rage like reactions that are typical of someone with these symptoms.

In recent years Misophonia has been coined as the term for an abnormally strong dislike and reaction to sounds associated with eating, chewing, coughing and other mouth type sounds as well as other environmental sounds such tapping of feet, clicking of pens and other soft sounds. This usually develops in early adolescents and can last into adulthood without treatment. There is usually a single trigger, usually a family member and over time other individuals begin to create the same level of reaction. Many people will also develop visual triggers that cause the same level of reaction even if the offending sound is not present or heard. The public at large have shifted this term from what had been the Soft Sound Sensitivity Syndrome or 4S. Soft Sound Sensitivity Syndrome or 4S is a sub category of Misophonia spectrum disorder.