Cortical reorganisation and tinnitus: principles of auditory discrimination training for tinnitus management

Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2009 Jan;266(1):9-16. doi: 10.1007/s00405-008-0757-y. Epub 2008 Jun 28.


Scientific evidence has proved reorganisation processes in the auditory cortex after sensorineural hearing loss and overstimulation of certain tonotopic cortical areas, as we see in auditory conditioning techniques. Acoustic rehabilitation reduces the impact of these reorganisation changes. Recent theories explain tinnitus mechanisms as a negative consequence of neural plasticity in the central nervous system after a peripheral aggression. Auditory discrimination training (ADT) could partially reverse the wrong changes in tonotopic representation and improve tinnitus. We discuss different studies and their efficacy on tinnitus perception and annoyance. Indications, method, dose and sound strategy need to be implemented.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Auditory Cortex / physiopathology*
  • Auditory Pathways / physiopathology
  • Auditory Perception / physiology*
  • Discrimination, Psychological*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Tinnitus / diagnosis
  • Tinnitus / therapy*