The International Tinnitus Journal

The International Tinnitus Journal

Official Journal of the Neurootological and Equilibriometric Society
Official Journal of the Brazil Federal District Otorhinolaryngologist Society

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ISSN: 0946-5448

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Evaluation of Medial Olivocochlear Neural Efferent Pathway in Tinnitus Perception in Normal-hearing Individuals

Author(s): Amitkumar Tayade, Denise Tucker

Objective: The objective of this study is to investigate a possible role of the Medial Olivocochlear (MOC) efferent neural pathway and neural connections responsible for tinnitus generation in silence/sensory deprivation.

Design: By placing normal hearing participants in a sound booth for 10 minutes, silence/sensory deprivation was created. This offered assessment of MOC neural pathway in normal hearing participants in silence. Hyperactivity of MOC neural pathway was assessed by its more suppressive effect on Transient Otoacoustic Emissions (TEOAEs) in silence. The required auditory measurements were recorded in the sound booth using recommended diagnostic protocols to ensure the effect of ‘only silence’ on auditory structures. TEOAE were recorded from the right ear and suppression was measured by placing noise in the left ear. Fifty-eight normal hearing male individuals between age 18-35 years were recruited as participants in this study.

Results: Approximately, forty-one percent of the participants perceived some type of tinnitus during/after 10 minutes of silence. No statistically significant difference was found in the total TEOAE amplitude and TEOAE suppression amplitude before and after ten minutes of silence. Post silence total TEOAE suppression between tinnitus perceiving and non-perceiving tinnitus participants were not statistically significantly different.

Conclusion: These results suggest that the medial olivocochlear efferent pathway or lower brain stem area does not appear to play a role in the emergence of temporary tinnitus in silence however indicate the involvement of higher central auditory nervous system structures in perception of the tinnitus which support the well-accepted notion that tinnitus is the central auditory processing phenomenon.

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