Date of Submission

Spring 2011

Academic Program



Barbara Luka

Abstract/Artist's Statement

Tinnitus is the perception of a sound with no associated external stimulus. Hearing damage most commonly precedes tinnitus, and the percept heard is correlated with the damaged frequency region. However, what causes the perception of the lost frequency remains a mystery. After a review and synthesis of the past through current relevant literature, two systems were found that could be the site of generation of the aberrant percept. These two systems are the active amplification system found in the cochlea, and the reciprocal corticothalamic system. In both these system, cochlear deafferentation could theoretically lead to the unmasking of dormant, high gain, positive feedback systems with no associated attenuation due to dysregulation of inhibitory systems.

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