A selective imaging of tinnitus


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Abstract

WE selectively imaged the neural correlates of tinnitus, by contrasting a condition with no phantom auditory sensation with a condition during which tinnitus is present, using a rare form of tinnitus elicited by eye movements. Using positron emission tomography (PET), we demonstrate that phantom auditory sensation increases regional cerebral blood flow bilaterally in temporo-parietal association auditory areas but not in the primary auditory cortex. These results confirm that conscious perception does not necessarily require activation in primary areas and suggest that the perceptual qualities of tinnitus, e.g. intensity, frequency and spatial localization, are represented in temporo-parietal regions. Activation in these regions is compatible with cortical processing of ascending auditory messages generated at subcortical levels.

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