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Specific activation of operculum 3 (OP3) brain region during provoked tinnitus-related phantom auditory perceptions in humans

Abstract : The phantom sound perception mechanism by which a sound perception occurs without any external sound source is still enigmatic. According to our previous fMRI study, a small region in the parietal operculum 3 was hyperactivated as a function of tinnitus periodicity in subjects with acoustic trauma tinnitus sequelae. This region was localized in the vicinity of neural correlates of middle-ear tympano-ossicular chain movements due to pressure variations. Disturbed proprioceptors are known to trigger illusory perceptions; therefore, we hypothesized that a disturbance of middle-ear proprioceptors may originate phantom sound perceptions. We designed an fMRI study that aimed to stimulate middle-ear proprioceptors by repetitive vibrations using various rates of click trains. In this study, we report that exposure to specific rates of stimuli for a few minutes at comfortable intensity level in healthy subjects distinctly triggered transient tinnitus-like aftereffects. The fMRI neural correlates of the aftereffects were unequivocally localized in the same parietal region as in acoustic trauma tinnitus sufferers. Our results strongly suggest that a middle-ear kinesthetic/proprioceptive illusion exists at the origin of acoustic trauma tinnitus via a somatosensory pathway encompassing the trigeminal system.
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  • HAL Id : inserm-02473160, version 1

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Agnès Job, Roland Jacob, Yoann Pons, Marc Raynal, Michel Kossowski, et al.. Specific activation of operculum 3 (OP3) brain region during provoked tinnitus-related phantom auditory perceptions in humans. Brain Structure and Function, Springer Verlag, 2016, 221 (2), pp.913-922. ⟨inserm-02473160⟩

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