Currently our group is working in cooperation with the ENT Department of University of Jena on the the following DFG project:
The cortical tinnitus network and how its connectivity changes through lateral inhibition by tailor-made notched music training (TMNMT)
Univ.-Prof. Dr. Christo Pantev, Institute for Biomagnetism and Biosignalanalysis
Univ.-Prof. Christian Dobel, ENT Department, Friedrich-Schiller-University of Jena
The prevailing research regarding the neural underpinnings of tinnitus focuses on the role that the auditory cortex has in the generation of this phantom percept. Nevertheless, recent evidence suggests that the cortical reorganization underlying tinnitus involves a widespread network of cortical sources, which operate in a dynamical state. The main goal of the proposed project is to investigate cortical connectivity underpinning tinnitus and its reorganization using a novel, whole head, node-to-node approach that does not a-priori define the corresponding networks, but instead, quantifies the amount of shared information within distributed neuronal groups. The foremost advantage of this approach is the fact that the MEG properties of high temporal resolution and enhanced localization accuracy in identifying the functional information processing pathways can be utilized in well-defined event related and resting state designs. Hence, the application of this approach on auditory evoked activity of tinnitus patients and controls will shed light on the large-scale cortical network underpinning the generation of tinnitus. Additionally, the short- and long-term cortical network reorganization caused by TMNM training will be investigated using the same methodological approach in order to unravel the functional connectivity patterns that support the diminishing of tinnitus loudness and indicate network characteristics that lead to the reversing of tinnitus-related maladaptive auditory cortex reorganization.