UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Abnormal auditory gain in hyperacusis: investigation with a computational model


Diehl, P U; Schaette, R (2015). Abnormal auditory gain in hyperacusis: investigation with a computational model. Frontiers in Neurology, 6(157):online.

Abstract

Hyperacusis is a frequent auditory disorder that is characterized by abnormal loudness perception where sounds of relatively normal volume are perceived as too loud or even painfully loud. As hyperacusis patients show decreased loudness discomfort levels (LDLs) and steeper loudness growth functions, it has been hypothesized that hyperacusis might be caused by an increase in neuronal response gain in the auditory system. Moreover, since about 85% of hyperacusis patients also experience tinnitus, the conditions might be caused by a common mechanism. However, the mechanisms that give rise to hyperacusis have remained unclear. Here, we have used a computational model of the auditory system to investigate candidate mechanisms for hyperacusis. Assuming that perceived loudness is proportional to the summed activity of all auditory nerve (AN) fibers, the model was tuned to reproduce normal loudness perception. We then evaluated a variety of potential hyperacusis gain mechanisms by determining their effects on model equal-loudness contours and comparing the results to the LDLs of hyperacusis patients with normal hearing thresholds. Hyperacusis was best accounted for by an increase in non-linear gain in the central auditory system. Good fits to the average patient LDLs were obtained for a general increase in gain that affected all frequency channels to the same degree, and also for a frequency-specific gain increase in the high-frequency range. Moreover, the gain needed to be applied after subtraction of spontaneous activity of the AN, which is in contrast to current theories of tinnitus generation based on amplification of spontaneous activity. Hyperacusis and tinnitus might therefore be caused by different changes in neuronal processing in the central auditory system.

Abstract

Hyperacusis is a frequent auditory disorder that is characterized by abnormal loudness perception where sounds of relatively normal volume are perceived as too loud or even painfully loud. As hyperacusis patients show decreased loudness discomfort levels (LDLs) and steeper loudness growth functions, it has been hypothesized that hyperacusis might be caused by an increase in neuronal response gain in the auditory system. Moreover, since about 85% of hyperacusis patients also experience tinnitus, the conditions might be caused by a common mechanism. However, the mechanisms that give rise to hyperacusis have remained unclear. Here, we have used a computational model of the auditory system to investigate candidate mechanisms for hyperacusis. Assuming that perceived loudness is proportional to the summed activity of all auditory nerve (AN) fibers, the model was tuned to reproduce normal loudness perception. We then evaluated a variety of potential hyperacusis gain mechanisms by determining their effects on model equal-loudness contours and comparing the results to the LDLs of hyperacusis patients with normal hearing thresholds. Hyperacusis was best accounted for by an increase in non-linear gain in the central auditory system. Good fits to the average patient LDLs were obtained for a general increase in gain that affected all frequency channels to the same degree, and also for a frequency-specific gain increase in the high-frequency range. Moreover, the gain needed to be applied after subtraction of spontaneous activity of the AN, which is in contrast to current theories of tinnitus generation based on amplification of spontaneous activity. Hyperacusis and tinnitus might therefore be caused by different changes in neuronal processing in the central auditory system.

Altmetrics

Downloads

6 downloads since deposited on 11 Feb 2016
6 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Neuroinformatics
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
Language:English
Date:2015
Deposited On:11 Feb 2016 08:39
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 20:04
Publisher:Frontiers Research Foundation
Series Name:Frontiers in Neurology
ISSN:1664-2295
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2015.00157
PubMed ID:26236277

Download

[img]
Preview
Content: Published Version
Filetype: PDF
Size: 6MB
View at publisher
Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

TrendTerms

TrendTerms displays relevant terms of the abstract of this publication and related documents on a map. The terms and their relations were extracted from ZORA using word statistics. Their timelines are taken from ZORA as well. The bubble size of a term is proportional to the number of documents where the term occurs. Red, orange, yellow and green colors are used for terms that occur in the current document; red indicates high interlinkedness of a term with other terms, orange, yellow and green decreasing interlinkedness. Blue is used for terms that have a relation with the terms in this document, but occur in other documents.
You can navigate and zoom the map. Mouse-hovering a term displays its timeline, clicking it yields the associated documents.

Author Collaborations