Whole scalp resting state EEG of oscillatory brain activity shows no parametric relationship with psychoacoustic and psychosocial assessment of tinnitus: A repeated measures study

Robert H. Pierzycki, Adam J. McNamara, Derek J. Hoare, Deborah A. Hall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Tinnitus is a perception of sound that can occur in the absence of an external stimulus. A brief review of electroencephalography (EEG) and magnetoencephalography (MEG) literature demonstrates that there is no clear relationship between tinnitus presence and frequency band power in whole scalp or source oscillatory activity. Yet a preconception persists that such a relationship exists and that resting state EEG could be utilised as an outcome measure for clinical trials of tinnitus interventions, e.g. as a neurophysiological marker of therapeutic benefit. To address this issue, we first examined the test-retest correlation of EEG band power measures in tinnitus patients (n = 42). Second we examined the evidence for a parametric relationship between numerous commonly used tinnitus variables (psychoacoustic and psychosocial) and whole scalp EEG power spectra, directly and after applying factor reduction techniques. Test-retest correlation for both EEG band power measures and tinnitus variables were high. Yet we found no relationship between whole scalp EEG band powers and psychoacoustic or psychosocial variables. We conclude from these data that resting state whole scalp EEG should not be used as a biomarker for tinnitus and that greater caution should be exercised in regard to reporting of findings to avoid confirmation bias. The data was collected during a randomised controlled trial registered at ClinicalTrials.gov (Identifier: NCT01541969).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-108
Number of pages8
JournalHearing Research
Volume331
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2016

Keywords

  • Confirmation bias
  • EEG
  • Power analysis
  • Resting state
  • Thalamo-cortical dysrythmia
  • Tinnitus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sensory Systems

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