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Impact of personality on acoustic tinnitus suppression and emotional reaction to stimuli sounds


Hafner, Anita; Schoisswohl, Stefan; Simoes, Jorge; Schlee, Winfried; Schecklmann, Martin; Langguth, Berthold; Neff, Patrick (2021). Impact of personality on acoustic tinnitus suppression and emotional reaction to stimuli sounds. Progress in Brain Research, 260:187-203.

Abstract

Background: Acoustic stimulation was shown to be effective in short-term suppression of tinnitus. However, tinnitus cannot be suppressed in all patients. Recent insights from mental health research suggests that personality traits may be important factors in prediction of treatment outcomes or improvement of tinnitus over time. No previous acoustic stimulation study investigated the effects of personality traits on tinnitus suppression and rating of sound stimuli.

Objectives: The aim of this study was therefore to examine whether personality is capable to predict tinnitus suppression in chronic tinnitus patients as well as related emotional stimulus evaluation.

Methods: Personality data (Big Five Index 2; BFI-2) of two acoustic stimulation experiments were pooled for this analysis. Both experiments were conducted at the University of Regensburg, Germany in the time period between April 2018 and October 2019 and consisted of individual designed noise and amplitude modulated tones matched to the participants' tinnitus pitch. Logistic regressions or linear mixed effect models were performed with tinnitus suppression as well as valence and arousal data as dependent variables and BFI-2 personality dimensions as predictors.

Results: 28% of the participants showed pronounced short-term tinnitus suppression after acoustic stimulation (50% reduction in subjective tinnitus loudness). Analyzing BFI-2 data, no significant impact of the big five personality traits (neuroticism, agreeableness, extraversion, conscientiousness, openness) were found, neither on acoustic tinnitus suppression, nor on emotional stimulus evaluation, namely arousal.

Conclusion: Personality was not shown to be a predictive factor, neither for acoustic stimulation, nor for emotional reaction to stimuli sounds in our studies. However, since tinnitus cannot be suppressed by acoustic stimulation in all patients, future studies should investigate other explaining factors such as patient-related or (neuro)physiological characteristics.

Abstract

Background: Acoustic stimulation was shown to be effective in short-term suppression of tinnitus. However, tinnitus cannot be suppressed in all patients. Recent insights from mental health research suggests that personality traits may be important factors in prediction of treatment outcomes or improvement of tinnitus over time. No previous acoustic stimulation study investigated the effects of personality traits on tinnitus suppression and rating of sound stimuli.

Objectives: The aim of this study was therefore to examine whether personality is capable to predict tinnitus suppression in chronic tinnitus patients as well as related emotional stimulus evaluation.

Methods: Personality data (Big Five Index 2; BFI-2) of two acoustic stimulation experiments were pooled for this analysis. Both experiments were conducted at the University of Regensburg, Germany in the time period between April 2018 and October 2019 and consisted of individual designed noise and amplitude modulated tones matched to the participants' tinnitus pitch. Logistic regressions or linear mixed effect models were performed with tinnitus suppression as well as valence and arousal data as dependent variables and BFI-2 personality dimensions as predictors.

Results: 28% of the participants showed pronounced short-term tinnitus suppression after acoustic stimulation (50% reduction in subjective tinnitus loudness). Analyzing BFI-2 data, no significant impact of the big five personality traits (neuroticism, agreeableness, extraversion, conscientiousness, openness) were found, neither on acoustic tinnitus suppression, nor on emotional stimulus evaluation, namely arousal.

Conclusion: Personality was not shown to be a predictive factor, neither for acoustic stimulation, nor for emotional reaction to stimuli sounds in our studies. However, since tinnitus cannot be suppressed by acoustic stimulation in all patients, future studies should investigate other explaining factors such as patient-related or (neuro)physiological characteristics.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:08 Research Priority Programs > Dynamics of Healthy Aging
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > General Neuroscience
Language:English
Date:2021
Deposited On:23 Mar 2021 12:54
Last Modified:24 Mar 2021 21:01
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0079-6123
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/bs.pbr.2020.08.004
PubMed ID:33637217

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