Chapter

Listening to tinnitus

Jos J. Eggermont

in The Neuroscience of Tinnitus

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199605606
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741555 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199605606.003.0003
Listening to tinnitus

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Tinnitus has psychoacoustic (pitch and loudness, masking ability) as well as psychological (annoyance, depression) properties. The psychoacoustic properties are often replicable and accurate, whereas the psychological ones vary greatly over time and context. The psychological aspects are based on Questionnaires, of which there are a good dozen, and appear also to be well validated. Tinnitus has a frequency spectrum that matches that of the hearing loss. Tinnitus loudness is typically only a few to 10 dB above the threshold level, but the presence of loudness recruitment may make this correspond to a much higher perceived loudness. The masking properties of tinnitus are different from those of external sounds, and suggest a central origin of tinnitus. The annoyance of tinnitus appears to have no relation to its loudness, but appears to be determined more on the level of hearing loss, the presence of hyperacusis and signs of depression.

Keywords: pitch; tinnitus spectrum; loudness; loudness recruitment; masking; residual inhibition; hyperacusis; psychology; tinnitus questionnaires

Chapter.  8672 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

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