Some forms of tinnitus are likely to be perceptual consequences of altered neural activity in the central auditory system triggered by damage to the auditory periphery. Animal studies report changes in the evoked responses after noise exposure or ototoxic drugs in inferior colliculus and auditory cortex. However, human electrophysiological evidence is rather equivocal: increased, reduced or no difference in N1/N1m evoked amplitudes and latencies in tinnitus participants have been reported.The present study used magnetoencephalography to seek evidence for altered evoked responses in people with tinnitus compared to controls (hearing loss matched and normal hearing) in four different stimulus categories (a control tone, a tone corresponding to the audiometric edge, to the dominant tinnitus pitch and a tone within the area of hearing loss). Results revealed that amplitudes of the evoked responses differed depending on the tone category. N1m amplitude to the dominant tinnitus pitch and the frequency within the area of hearing loss were reduced compared to the other two categories. Given that tinnitus pitch is typically within the area of hearing loss, the differences in the evoked responses pattern in tinnitus participants seem to be related more to the hearing loss than to the presence of tinnitus.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sensory Systems