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Semin Hear. 2008 Nov;29(4):326-332.

Electrical Stimulation of the Cochlea to Reduce Tinnitus.

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Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa.


This article reviews possible neural correlates of tinnitus, including an increase in rate, a decrease in rate, periodic activity, synchronous activity across neurons, and an edge between active and inactive neurons. We make some suggestions regarding how electrical current might alter these patterns of neural activity. For example, if tinnitus were represented with periodic neural activity, then electrical stimulation would need to disrupt this periodicity. Some cases of cochlear electrical stimulation are reviewed that show the tinnitus can be reduced or eliminated with cochlear electrical stimulation although it varies across individuals. Finally, after summarizing some key observations, we suggest some next steps to bring this into a clinical application.

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