Tinnitus is a debilitating perception of sound in the absence of external auditory stimuli. It may have either a central or a peripheral origin in the cochlea. Experimental studies evidenced that an electrical stimulation of peripheral auditory fibers may alleviate symptoms but the underlying mechanisms are still unknown. In this work, a stochastic neuron model is used, that mimics an auditory fiber affected by tinnitus, to check the effects, in terms of firing reduction, of different kinds of electric stimulations, i.e., continuous wave signals and white Gaussian noise. Results show that both white Gaussian noise and continuous waves at tens of kHz induce a neuronal firing reduction; however, for the same amplitude of fluctuations, Gaussian noise is more efficient than continuous waves. When contemporary applied, signal and noise exhibit a cooperative effect in retrieving neuronal firing to physiological values. These results are a proof of concept that a combination of signal and noise could be delivered through cochlear prosthesis for tinnitus suppression.
Paffi, A., Camera, F., Carocci, C., Apollonio, F., & Liberti, M. (2018). Stimulation Strategies for Tinnitus Suppression in a Neuron Model. Computational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine, 2018, 1–9. https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/5215723