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Definition of a procedure for creating a synthetic tinnitus auditory image






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Definition of a procedure for creating a synthetic tinnitus auditory image


Bertet, Stéphanie (auteur)
Baskind, Alexis (auteur)
Londero, Alain (auteur)
Warusfel, Olivier (auteur)
Viaud-Delmon, Isabelle (auteur)
Bonfils, Pierre (auteur)


Stresa, Italy, , 2009





Aims/Objectives: The spectral characterization of tinnitus is not a straightforward process. With this goal in mind, a listening experiment has been carried out on unilateral tinnitus patients aiming at creating a credible tinnitus auditory image (tinnitus avatar). The method used in this test was chosen considering the results of a previous experiment, which investigated several methods for creating such avatar. This study is part of a larger project based on visual and auditory 3D Virtual Reality. Method: The goal is to recreate a realistic tinnitus image perceived in the middle of the head by using a synthetic signal (pure tone frequency and narrow band noise) played in the contra lateral ear. To do so, the signal has to match the spectrum and intensity of the tinnitus percept. After performing a 1/3 octave pure tone audiogram, two one-hour test sessions were done at one week intervals. A training procedure taught the patients frequency and loudness matching. Then, by means of a graphical interface, patients were asked to adjust a sound played into their contra lateral ear so that it matched their tinnitus in frequency and loudness. Finally, the avatars created in each session were evaluated and compared against their tinnitus on a visual analogic scale (VAS). Results: 12 patients were tested (6 right, 6 left tinnitus). 8 patients created a convincing avatar giving them a percept of fusion (i.e. tinnitus perceived in the head or in the contra lateral ear) and a high VAS score. Avatars were reproducible throughout the two sessions (6 patients creating very similar sounds and 2 making an octave error). 4 patients were not able to create an avatar because of tinnitus complexity and/or because of little computer skills. Conclusion: Though it is a difficult task, the creation of a synthetic sound comparable to the tinnitus percept seems to be possible in about two thirds of unilateral tinnitus sufferers. The clinical use of these tinnitus avatars in 3D Virtual Reality environments has to be explored by further research.


Contribution au colloque ou congrès : 3rd Tinnitus Research Initiative Meeting


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2014-11-18 01:00:00

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