Developing a Novel Misophonia Intervention Using Neurostimulation

Woman with hands on ears

Duke eIRB # Pro00114183

Thank you for your interest in our study! If you would like to see if you may be eligible, please click here or read below for more information.

You might be eligible for this study if you:

  • Are between 18-55 years old
  • Experience misophonic distress (get upset, angry, anxious when hearing certain common sounds)

Here are some further details about the study that may interest you:

This is a study in which we plan to learn more about the short and long-term effects of emotion regulation and neurostimulation on misophonia. The study involves 9-10 visits. Two will involve an MRI scan and four will involve neurostimulation. 3-4 of the visits will be completed remotely. You will be paid depending on your time and participation in different parts of the study.

Here’s how the process goes:

Once you complete the online survey by clicking this link [insert link] , you will be contacted by phone by one of our study staff. If you are eligible for the study, we’ll set up a remote assessment appointment for you via Duke Zoom. When you join the assessment visit, you will receive a full description of the study and choose whether or not you would like to consent to participate.

If you do agree to participate, you will fill out questionnaires and speak with an interviewer. You will also listen to aversive sounds and rate how distressing they are to you. This assessment day will last between 1 and 4 hours. The interviewer will ask you about many aspects of your life, including questions about depression and anxiety, personality, how you cope with stress, ways in which you tend to think about yourself, and how you get along with others. 

Based on that interview, we’ll make the final decision about whether or not this study is a good fit for you. If you are not eligible for the study, you will receive $10. If it is a good fit, we will ask a few more interview questions and you will complete a set of online self-reports. 

You will then be scheduled to come to Duke for a brain imaging session. During the brain imaging session, you will be asked to think differently about the different sound presentations you experience, and rate and modulate how intensely you feel when hearing them. Next, you will be asked to return to the research office for the neurostimulation procedure over 4 weekdays.

The first neurostimulation visit will last 3-4 hours and the remaining 3 sessions will last around 1 hour. At the first session, we will teach you how to think differently when exposed to distressing sounds so it’s easier to calm down and to feel negative emotions less intensely. We will then identify the dose of neurostimulation that is safe for you using a standardized procedure, and will expose you to different types of repetitive brain stimulation. You will hear different sounds via headphones and will be prompted to use cognitive restructuring to change your emotional experience while concurrently receiving different types of neurostimulation. We will then ask you to complete a packet of online questionnaires.

You will then be scheduled within the next 1-2 weeks to have another brain imaging session as you did before. Finally, there will be 2 follow-up visits that will be completed remotely 1 and 3 months after your second MRI. At the final remote visit, we will do an exit interview and ask for your feedback on the study. 

If you choose not to answer any questions you do not wish to answer, this will not affect your access to current or future health care at Duke. Your research data (answers to the online survey questions) will not be stored or be connected to any of your Duke University Health Care information. We will keep the answers to all of these screening questions as part of our research. We will destroy all identifying information such as your name and phone number at the end of the study. Only your answers to the questions, without your identifying data, will be used for research studies. This data will be kept indefinitely.

Click here to begin the online survey for the study.
Note: If you do not have regular access to a computer or you would prefer to do these questions over the phone with one of our study staff, you may contact us directly at (919)-681-3493.

If you have any questions about participating in this study, please contact Jasmine Chabaan at (919)-681-3493,