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J Neural Eng. 2019 Nov 14. doi: 10.1088/1741-2552/ab57d5. [Epub ahead of print]

Real-time monitoring and regulating auditory cortex alpha activity in patients with chronic tinnitus.

Author information

1
Institute of Medical Psychology and Behavioral Neurobiology, University of Tübingen, Silcher street 5, Tubingen, 72074, GERMANY.
2
Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH Munich, Bayern, DE, Munich, GERMANY.
3
University of Tubingen Institute for Medical Psychology and Behavioral Neurobiology, Tubingen, 72076, GERMANY.
4
MEG-Center, University of Tübingen, Tubingen, Baden-Württemberg, GERMANY.
5
Department of Otolaryngology, University of Tübingen, Tubingen, Baden-Württemberg, GERMANY.
6
Social, Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, University of Vienna, Wien, Wien, AUSTRIA.
7
Institute of Medical Psychology and Behavioral Neurobiology, University of Tübingen, Tubingen, Baden-Württemberg, GERMANY.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Low levels of alpha activity (8-13Hz) mirror a state of enhanced responsiveness, whereas high levels of alpha are a state of reduced responsiveness. Tinnitus is accompanied by reduction of alpha activity in the perisylvian regions compared to normal hearing controls. This reduction might be a key mechanism in the chain of reactions leading to tinnitus. We devised a novel spatial filter as an on-line source monitoring method, which can be used to control alpha activity in the primary auditory cortex. In addition, we designed an innovative experimental procedure to enable suppression of visual and somatosensory alpha, facilitating auditory alpha control during alpha neurofeedback.

APPROACH:

An amplitude-modulated auditory stimulation with 40 Hz modulation frequency and 1000 Hz carrier frequency specifically activates the primary auditory cortex. The topography of 40 Hz oscillations depicts the activity of the auditory cortices. We used this map as a spatial filter, which passes the activity originating from the auditory cortex. To suppress superposition of auditory alpha by somatosensory and visual alpha, we used a continuous tactile jaw-stimulation and visual stimulation protocol to suppress somatosensory alpha of regions adjacent to the auditory cortex and visual alpha for local regulation of auditory alpha activity only.

MAIN RESULTS:

This novel spatial filter for online detection auditory alpha EEG-activity and the usage of multi-sensory stimulation facilities the appearance of alpha activity from the auditory cortex at the sensor level.

SIGNIFICANCE:

The proposed procedure can be used in an EEG-neurofeedback-treatment approach allowing online auditory alpha self-regulation training in patients with chronic tinnitus.

KEYWORDS:

Auditory cortex; EEG neurofeedback; EEG source localization; Tinnitus

PMID:
31726439
DOI:
10.1088/1741-2552/ab57d5

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