2014 Volume 26 Issue 7 Pages 1087-1091
[Purpose] Auditory hypersensitivity has been widely reported in patients with autism spectrum disorders. However, the neurological background of auditory hypersensitivity is currently not clear. The present study examined the relationship between sympathetic nervous system responses and auditory hypersensitivity induced by different types of auditory stimuli. [Methods] We exposed 20 healthy young adults to six different types of auditory stimuli. The amounts of palmar sweating resulting from the auditory stimuli were compared between groups with (hypersensitive) and without (non-hypersensitive) auditory hypersensitivity. [Results] Although no group × type of stimulus × first stimulus interaction was observed for the extent of reaction, significant type of stimulus × first stimulus interaction was noted for the extent of reaction. For an 80 dB-6,000 Hz stimulus, the trends for palmar sweating differed between the groups. For the first stimulus, the variance became larger in the hypersensitive group than in the non-hypersensitive group. [Conclusion] Subjects who regularly felt excessive reactions to auditory stimuli tended to have excessive sympathetic responses to repeated loud noises compared with subjects who did not feel excessive reactions. People with auditory hypersensitivity may be classified into several subtypes depending on their reaction patterns to auditory stimuli.