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Support of a patient-specific therapeutical acoustic stimulation in tinnitus by numerical modeling

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5 Author(s)
Haab, L. ; Neurocenter, Saarland Univ. Hosp., Homburg, Germany ; Scheerer, M. ; Ruckert, J. ; Hannemann, R.
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The pathogenesis of tinnitus involves multiple hierarchical levels of auditory processing and appraisal of sensory saliency. Early tinnitus onset is most likely attributed to homeostatic plasticity in the periphery, while the chronification and decompensation are tightly linked to brain areas for the allocation of attentional resources, such as e.g., the thalamocortical feedback loops and the limbic system. Increased spontaneous firing after sensory deafferentation might be sufficient to generate a phantom perception, yet the question why not every peripheral hearing loss automatically elicits a tinnitus sensation is still to be addressed. Utilizing quantitative modeling of multiple hierarchical levels in the auditory pathway, we demonstrate the effects of lateral inhibition on increased spontaneous firing and the resulting elevation of firing regularity and synchronization of neural activity. The presented therapeutical approach is based on the idea of disrupting the heightened regularity of the neural population response in the tinnitus frequency range. This neural activity regularity depends on lateral dispersion of common noise and thus is susceptible for edge effects and might be influenced by a change in neural activity in bordering frequency ranges by fitted acoustical stimulation. We propose the use of patient specifically adapted tailor-made notched acoustic stimulation, utilizing modeling results for the optimal adjustment of the stimulation frequencies to archive a therapeutical edge-effect.

Published in:

Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC), 2012 Annual International Conference of the IEEE

Date of Conference:

Aug. 28 2012-Sept. 1 2012