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Lookup NU author(s): Dr Will Sedley,
Professor Tim GriffithsORCiD
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).
Tinnitus is a common disorder that often complicates hearing loss. Its mechanisms are incompletely understood. Current theories proposing pathophysiology from the ear to the cortex cannot individually - or collectively - explain the range of experimental evidence available. We propose a new framework, based on predictive coding, in which spontaneous activity in the subcortical auditory pathway constitutes a 'tinnitus precursor' which is normally ignored as imprecise evidence against the prevailing percept of 'silence'. Extant models feature as contributory mechanisms acting to increase either the intensity of the precursor or its precision. If precision (i.e., postsynaptic gain) rises sufficiently then tinnitus is perceived. Perpetuation arises through focused attention, which further increases the precision of the precursor, and resetting of the default prediction to expect tinnitus.
Author(s): Sedley W, Friston KJ, Gander PE, Kumar S, Griffiths TD
Publication type: Review
Publication status: Published
Journal: Trends in Neurosciences
Print publication date: 01/12/2016
Online publication date: 18/11/2016
Acceptance date: 01/01/1900
ISSN (print): 0166-2236
ISSN (electronic): 1878-108X
Publisher: ELSEVIER SCIENCE LONDON