Okay, I wasn’t going to share this with you readers until I read precisely what the world’s harshest sound is: a knife scraping against a glass bottle. How freaking unnerving is that? It’s not nails on a chalkboard or even Jim Carrey. It’s something that is right out of a damn torture film.
The study didn’t test peoples reactions but rather the acoustics of the ear itself. The MRI detected blood flow and also monitored the amygdala, the portion of the brain dedicated to processing emotions. Only 13 subjects were tested, each of them listening to 74 different sounds in the MRI. The second most repulsive sound to the human brain was a fork being scraped against a bottle (big surprise) while flowing water was the most calming.
One of the purposes of this study is to determine how the ear works with disorders like misophonia as well as the more common tinnitus.