New paper in “Nature Scientific Reports” explores functional connectivity differences between patients with chronic tinnitus

Published in 2023, Stephanie Rosemann and Josef Rauschecker’s article explores disruptions of default mode network and precuneus connectivity associated with cognitive dysfunctions in tinnitus.


“Tinnitus is the perception of a ringing, buzzing or hissing sound “in the ear” without external stimulation. Previous research has demonstrated changes in resting-state functional connectivity in tinnitus, but findings do not overlap and are even contradictory. Furthermore, how altered functional connectivity in tinnitus is related to cognitive abilities is currently unknown. Here we investigated resting-state functional connectivity differences between 20 patients with chronic tinnitus and 20 control participants matched in age, sex and hearing loss. All participants underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging, audiometric and cognitive assessments, and filled in questionnaires targeting anxiety and depression. Significant differences in functional connectivity between tinnitus patients and control participants were not obtained. However, we did find significant associations between cognitive scores and functional coupling of the default mode network and the precuneus with the superior parietal lobule, supramarginal gyrus, and orbitofrontal cortex. Further, tinnitus distress correlated with connectivity between the precuneus and the lateral occipital complex. This is the first study providing evidence for disruptions of default mode network and precuneus coupling that are related to cognitive dysfunctions in tinnitus. The constant attempt to decrease the tinnitus sensation might occupy certain brain resources otherwise available for concurrent cognitive operations.”

Read the full article here.