Tinnitus: the dark side of the auditory cortex plasticity
Article first published online: 23 APR 2012
© 2012 New York Academy of Sciences.
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Volume 1252, The Neurosciences and Music IV Learning and Memory pages 253–258, April 2012
How to Cite
Pantev, C., Okamoto, H. and Teismann, H. (2012), Tinnitus: the dark side of the auditory cortex plasticity. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1252: 253–258. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2012.06452.x
- Issue published online: 23 APR 2012
- Article first published online: 23 APR 2012
- cortical plasticity;
- lateral inhibition;
- human auditory cortex;
Music has increasingly been used as a tool for investigation of human cognition and its underlying brain mechanisms. However, music can be used also for neurorehabilitation. Chronic tinnitus is a symptom with high prevalence, especially in industrialized countries. There is evidence that the tinnitus perception is related to unfavorable cortical plastic changes. Maladaptive auditory cortex reorganization may contribute to the generation and maintenance of tinnitus. Because cortical organization can be modified by behavioral training, potentially via reversing maladaptive auditory cortex reorganization, we attempted to reduce tinnitus loudness by exposing chronic tinnitus patients to self-chosen, enjoyable music that was modified (“notched”) to contain no energy in the frequency range surrounding the individual tinnitus frequency and thus attracting lateral inhibition to the brain area generating tinnitus. On this basis, we have developed and evaluated a customized music training strategy that appears capable of both reducing cortical tinnitus-related neuronal activity and alleviating subjective tinnitus perception.