Cortical Stimulation to Suppress Tinnitus and Enable Auditory Perception

Project: Research

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Normal hearing involves the transduction of air pressure waves to electrical impulses in the cochlea and transmission of electrical impulses through the central auditory pathway to the auditory cortex. In contrast, phantom sound perception in tinnitus is believed to be centrally generated. The auditory cortex plays an essential role in both normal and phantom sound perception. Due to its accessibility, the auditory cortex is an ideal target for brain machine interfaces to modulate sound perception. We developed a graphene-based, biocompatible surface electrode array, called an “encoding implant,” that allows both recording and stimulation of the auditory cortex. Our preliminary results demonstrate that the encoding implant can be used to assess cortical maps on demand and stimulate the auditory cortex to alter sound perception. We propose to use this implant to attenuate tinnitus and guide auditory behaviors in animal models. Our results will facilitate the development of an advanced neural interface enabling high-quality communication for people with hearing loss. 


Project number9043293
Grant typeGRF
Effective start/end date1/01/23 → …