Tinnitus Research

The Tinnitus Research Unit is dedicated to understanding and ultimately treating the clinical problem of tinnitus, a condition often called “ringing in the ears” and formally defined as the perception of sound in the absence of any physical stimulus. While generally viewed as an “ear problem,” there is good evidence that tinnitus involves abnormalities of the brain and that the somatosensory, limbic, and auditory systems are all key players.


Projects include:

(1) using brain imaging (fMRI, MEG, evoked potentials) to test several hypotheses regarding the neural basis of tinnitus, including its association with hyperactivity in the CNS,

(2) examining the function of the auditory periphery to detect subtle, but potentially crucial, tinnitus-related abnormalities, and

(3) comparing imaging and other measurements with clinic outcome to identify physiologically-distinct tinnitus subtypes responsive to different treatments.

Past and present Unit members:

Jennifer Melcher, Ph.D., Director

Leah Acker, B.S.

Jianwen (Wendy) Gu, M.Eng.

Christine Hsieh, B.S.

Dave Langers, Ph.D.

Christopher Halpin, Ph.D.

Inge Knudson, M.S.

Euicheol Nam, M.D.

Barbara Norris, M.S.

Elif Özdemir, Ph.D.

Tinnitus Resources

Learn more about our new Lauer Tinnitus Research Center