Effects of silence on the perception of tinnitus and auditory evoked responses

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Marwa Farouk Abdrabbou (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Denise Tucker

Abstract: Approximately, 12 million Americans struggle with the bothersome effects of tinnitus to a degree that interferes with their daily activities and quality of their lives. Lacking a clear definition of the origin and mechanism of tinnitus hinders the process of finding validated cure for this debilitating condition. Up until now the role of the central auditory system in tinnitus generation is not completely understood. Perception of tinnitus in normal hearing subjects and persistence of tinnitus after complete ablation of the auditory nerve triggered the current shift in the cause of tinnitus generation from the peripheral source to the central auditory processing source. Multitudinous pathologies are associated with tinnitus perception. Tinnitus perception has also been reported in normal hearing subjects after a brief period of silence. However, there is informational gap regarding the possible changes in the central auditory nervous system associated with tinnitus perception in normal hearing subjects after a brief period of silence. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the effect of silence and tinnitus perception on the central auditory system using auditory evoked potentials (AEPs). Another purpose was to examine the prevalence of tinnitus perception as a result of silence exposure in the study sample while controlling for directed auditory attention. Sixty female subjects with normal hearing between ages of 18 to 40 years old participated in the study. Behavioral audiometric measures were administrated to confirm eligibility for participation. AEPs were measured before and after 10 minutes of silence exposure. Repeated measures ANOVA were used to examine any group difference as a result of tinnitus perception as well as the effect of silence on the auditory system. The results showed that 55% of the subjects perceived tinnitus like sounds during silence exposure. Subjects in the tinnitus group did have statistically significant larger AMLR Na/Pa amplitude in both pre-silence and post-silence recordings. There was no statistically significant difference in ABR wave V latency or amplitude as a result of tinnitus perception. The results revealed statistically significant increase of contralateral wave V latency and approached significant levels on the ipsilateral recordings as a result of silence exposure. These findings support the notions of the previous research that normal auditory systems are producing low-level tinnitus-like sounds, which can be perceived by individuals in a sufficiently quiet environment. The results indicate the presence of increased neural activities at the level of AMLR Na/Pa generators in subjects who perceived tinnitus compared with subjects who did not perceive tinnitus. Therefore, the results of the study support the notion that tinnitus is a central auditory processing phenomenon.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2019
Auditory Brainstem Response, Auditory Evoked Potentials, Auditory Middle Latency Response, Tinnitus, Tinnitus Perception in Sillence
Auditory evoked response
Auditory perception
Auditory pathways

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