Visualizing tinnitus with fMRI

Project description

Tinnitus is often defined as the perception of a tone without the presence of an external stimulus. More than 10% of the Western adult population suffers from tinnitus and with about 1% of the total population the tinnitus seriously interferes with the patients’ lifes. Common symptoms for the more severe tinnitus patients are problems with concentration and falling asleep, anxiety and even depression.

Until now there is no real treatment for tinnitus. The main reason for this is the fact that the pathophysiology of tinnitus is still not completely known. A relatively new and promising treatment for tinnitus is neuromodulation, but this is not used in the Netherlands so far. In order for neuromodulation to be successful it should be clear where in the brain the neural correlates of tinnitus are.

Therefore in this study we try to find out which areas in the brain play a part in the generation and persistence of tinnitus, and what the roles of those areas are. This is done using BOLD response fMRI imaging. The second objective of this study is to assess the theoretical potential of the use of neuromodulation techniques like TMS as a therapy for tinnitus.


Mike Sellis


Prof. Dr. Ir. C.H. Slump (University of Twente)

Ir. C.C. de Vos (Medisch Spectrum Twente and University of Twente)

Prof. Dr. Ir. M.J.A.M. van Putten (Medisch Spectrum Twente and University of Twente)

Drs. M.W.P.M. Lenders (Medisch Spectrum Twente)

Dr. M.P. Zwiers (Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour)