We investigated auditory, dorsal attention, and default mode networks in adults with tinnitus and hearing loss in a resting state functional connectivity study. Data were obtained using continuous functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while the participants were at "rest" and were not performing any task. Participants belonged to one of three groups: middle-aged adults with tinnitus and mild-to-moderate high frequency hearing loss (TIN), age-matched controls with normal hearing and no tinnitus (NH), and a second control group with mild-to-moderate high frequency hearing loss without tinnitus (HL). After standard preprocessing, (a) a group independent component analysis (ICA) using 30 components and (b) a seeding-based connectivity analysis were conducted. In the group ICA, the default mode network was the only network to display visual differences between subject groups. In the seeding analysis, we found increased connectivity between the left parahippocampus and the auditory resting state network in the TIN group when compared to NH controls. Similarly, there was also an increased correlation between the right parahippocampus and the dorsal attention network when compared to HL controls. Other group differences in this attention network included decreased correlations between the seed regions and the right supramarginal gyrus in TIN patients when compared to HL controls. In the default mode network, there was a strong decrease in correlation between the seed regions and the precuneus when compared to both control groups. The findings of this study identify specific alterations in the connectivity of the default mode, dorsal attention, and auditory resting state networks due to tinnitus. The results suggest that therapies for tinnitus that mitigate the increased connectivity of limbic regions with auditory and attention resting state networks and the decreased coherence of the default mode network could be effective at reducing tinnitus-related distress.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)