Amsterdam research on Misophonia wins Ig Nobel prize
Psychiatry professor Damiaan Denys of the Amsterdam University Medical Center was awarded an Ig Nobel prize for his years-long research into Misophonia - a mental illness in which certain sounds like snoring, chewing, slurping or lip smacking can drive people to extreme tendencies.
In a video, Denys explained that he started this research about 10 years ago, after meeting a patient who told him that she gets furious when she hears someone sneeze. "I have hay fever and it was in the spring, so I was hoping that I wouldn't sneeze, because the day before she had thrown the TV across the room. I didn't know what to do with it."
A few years later another patient told him that she had the urge to strangle her husband when she heard him snore. Remembering the sneeze hater, Denys and his team decided to investigate further. "After more cases like this, we thought we had discovered something that has not yet been described in psychiatry and eventually we diagnosed Misophonia. An existing name that we applied to new criteria."
Denys is pleased with the prize. "But we are also a bit confused, because the Ig Nobel Prize is actually a bit of a joke. Yet we accepted it because we think it is important that this condition gets the attention."
The Ig Nobel Prizes are awarded to research that first makes you laugh, and then makes you think. These prizes go to real studies that have been published in recognized scientific journals. They're always awarded just before the announcement of the Nobel Prizes
Denys' research is not the first Dutch study to win a Ig Nobel Prize. Last year, Radboud University Nijmegen researchers won an Ig Nobel for their research into dirty bank notes. And in 2015, Nijmegen language scientist Mark Dingemanse and two foreign colleagues won for their research into the word "huh?"