The potential role of auditory prediction error in decompensated tinnitus: An auditory mismatch negativity study

Mehrnaz Mohebbi, Ahmad Daneshi, Abdoreza Asadpour, Samer Mohsen, Mohammad Farhadi, Saeid Mahmoudian

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Some tinnitus subjects habituate to their tinnitus but some others do not and complain of its annoyance tremendously. Normal sensory memory and change detection processes are needed for detecting the tinnitus signal as a prediction error and habituation to tinnitus. The purpose of this study was to compare auditory mismatch negativity as the index of sensory memory and change detection among the studied groups to search for the factors involving in the perception of tinnitus and preventing habituation in decompensated tinnitus subjects.

Electroencephalography was recorded from scalp electrodes in compensated tinnitus, decompensated tinnitus, and no tinnitus control subjects. Mismatch negativity was obtained using the oddball paradigm with frequency, duration, and silent gap deviants. Amplitude, latency, and area under the curve of mismatch negativities were compared among the three studied groups.

The results showed lower mismatch negativity amplitude and area under the curve for the higher frequency deviant and for the silent gap deviant in decompensated tinnitus group compared to normal control and compensated tinnitus group.

This study revealed a deficit in sensory memory and change detection processing in decompensated tinnitus subjects. This causes persistent prediction errors; tinnitus signal is consistently detected as a new signal and activates the brain salience network and consequently prevents habituation to tinnitus. Mismatch negativity is proposed as an index for monitoring tinnitus rehabilitation.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere01242
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalBrain and Behavior
Issue number4
Early online date20 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished online - 20 Mar 2019


  • change detection
  • habituation
  • mismatch negativity
  • prediction error
  • sensory memory
  • tinnitus

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