Aberrant Frequency Related Change-Detection Activity in Chronic Tinnitus

Abdoreza Asadpour, Mehran Jahed, Saeid Mahmoudian

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3 Citations (Scopus)
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Tinnitus is the perception of sound without the occurrence of an acoustic event. The deficit in auditory sensory or echoic memory may be the cause of the perception of tinnitus. This study considered the mismatch negativity (MMN) to investigate the potential difference between and within groups of persons with normal hearing (NH) and tinnitus. Using an auditory multi-feature paradigm to elicit the MMN, this study considered the MMN peak amplitude at two central frequencies for two MMN subcomponents. These central frequencies were 1 and 5 kHz, which the latter was closer to the perceived tinnitus frequency in the group with tinnitus. The deviants were higher frequency, lower frequency, higher intensity, lower intensity, duration, location (left), location (right), and gap. The pure tone audiometry (PTA) test and distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAE) test showed no meaningful difference between the two groups. For the frontal subcomponent, the mean amplitudes of the MMN peak for the two groups illustrated less negative meaningful MMN peak amplitudes in the group of persons with tinnitus. For the supratemporal component at 5 kHz central frequency, amplitudes were lower for the group of persons with tinnitus, whereas for the central frequency of 1 kHz, most deviants exhibited meaningful differences. Additionally, within-group comparisons indicated that mean amplitudes for both groups were more negative at the central frequency of 1 kHz for the frontal MMN subcomponent. In comparison, the supratemporal component illustrated a lower peak amplitude at 5 kHz central frequency in the group of persons with tinnitus and no difference in the NH group, which is a unique observation of this study. Results of the between-groups are in accordance with previous studies and within-group comparisons consider the probability of decreasing the change detection capability of the brain. The results of this study indicate that increasing the frequency of the stimuli close to the tinnitus perceived frequencies decreases the prediction error, including the prediction error of the silence. Such a decrease may cause the prediction error of the spontaneous neural activity in the auditory pathway to exceed the silence prediction error, and as a result, increases the probability of occurrence of tinnitus in higher frequencies according to the predictive coding model.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalFrontiers in Neuroscience
Early online date23 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished online - 23 Oct 2020


  • tinnitus
  • electroencephalogram
  • mismatch negativity
  • multi-feature paradigm
  • change detection
  • echoic memory
  • sensory-memory hypothesis


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