Modelling the Generation of Tinnitus in a Silent Environment.

Richard Gault, T.M McGinnity, Sonya Coleman

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Tinnitus is the phantom perception of a sound heard in or around the head in the absence of an identifiable source affecting 10-15% worldwide. The majority of tinnitus sufferers have some form of hearing loss. The multiple pathologies that generate and sustain tinnitus in a diverse tinnitus population make it challenging to establish a homogeneous cohort for experimental studies. People with no hearing loss or previous experience of tinnitus also begin to perceive phantom sounds when situated in a sound proof room for five minutes or less. This is consistently observed across multiple studies. Studies that induced tinnitus through acoustic deprivation in healthy subjects provide a more controlled environment to observe tinnitus. Although experimental work shows what is happening it does not explain how the tinnitus related activity is generated. Computational modelling of tinnitus following hearing loss has shown that underlying mechanisms, such as adaptive gain, can generate hyperactivity in the regions of hearing loss. These models do not account for the generation of tinnitus in people with no hearing loss. In this work we model the development of tinnitus related activity in cases of no hearing loss and induced acoustic deprivation. The tinnitus related activity disappears once the model is returned to normal ambient noise.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jul 2016
EventIEEE World Congress on Computational Intelligence (WCCI): International Joint Conference on Neural Networks (IJCNN) - Vancouver Convention Centre, Vancouver, Canada
Duration: 25 Jul 201627 Jul 2016


ConferenceIEEE World Congress on Computational Intelligence (WCCI)
Internet address

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    Gault, R., McGinnity, T. M., & Coleman, S. (2016). Modelling the Generation of Tinnitus in a Silent Environment.. Paper presented at IEEE World Congress on Computational Intelligence (WCCI), Vancouver, Canada.