Design and evaluation of tinnitus synthesis methods: From spectral to spatial matching

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Published

  • Stéphanie Bertet
  • Alexis Baskind
  • Alain Londero
  • Laure Bonfils
  • Isabelle Viaud-Delmon
  • Olivier Warusfel

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Purpose
This study was designed to investigate methods to help patients suffering from unilateral tinnitus synthesizing an auditory replica of their tinnitus.

Materials and methods
Two semi-automatic methods (A and B) derived from the auditory threshold of the patient and a method (C) combining a pure tone and a narrow band-pass noise centred on an adjustable frequency were devised and rated on their likeness over two test sessions. A third test evaluated the stability over time of the synthesized tinnitus replica built with method C, and its proneness to merge with the patient's tinnitus. Patients were then asked to try and control the lateralisation of this single percept through the adjustment of the tinnitus replica level.

Results
The first two tests showed that seven out of ten patients chose the tinnitus replica built with method C as their preferred one. The third test, performed on twelve patients, revealed pitch tuning was rather stable over a week interval. It showed that eight patients were able to consistently match the central frequency of the synthesized tinnitus (presented to the contralateral ear) to their own tinnitus, which leaded to a unique tinnitus percept. The lateralisation displacement was consistent across patients and revealed an average range of 29dB to obtain a full lateral shift from the ipsilateral to the contralateral side.

Conclusions
Although spectrally simpler than the semi-automatic methods, method C could replicate patients' tinnitus, to some extent. When a unique percept between synthesized tinnitus and patients' tinnitus arose, lateralisation of this percept was achieved.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
Pages121-132
JournalAmerican Journal of Otolaryngology
Journal publication dateMar 2013
Issue2
Volume34
DOIs
StatePublished

Research areas

  • tinnitus

ID: 898214