Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
BioMed Research International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 489619, 15 pages
Research Article

Source-Space Cross-Frequency Amplitude-Amplitude Coupling in Tinnitus

MRC Institute of Hearing Research, University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK

Received 29 July 2015; Revised 19 October 2015; Accepted 26 October 2015

Academic Editor: Stefan Rampp

Copyright © 2015 Oliver Zobay and Peyman Adjamian. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The thalamocortical dysrhythmia (TCD) model has been influential in the development of theoretical explanations for the neurological mechanisms of tinnitus. It asserts that thalamocortical oscillations lock a region in the auditory cortex into an ectopic slow-wave theta rhythm (4–8 Hz). The cortical area surrounding this region is hypothesized to generate abnormal gamma (>30 Hz) oscillations (“edge effect”) giving rise to the tinnitus percept. Consequently, the model predicts enhanced cross-frequency coherence in a broad range between theta and gamma. In this magnetoencephalography study involving tinnitus and control cohorts, we investigated this prediction. Using beamforming, cross-frequency amplitude-amplitude coupling (AAC) was computed within the auditory cortices for frequencies () between 2 and 80 Hz. We find the AAC signal to decompose into two distinct components at low ( Hz) and high ( Hz) frequencies, respectively. Studying the correlation of AAC with several key covariates (age, hearing level (HL), tinnitus handicap and duration, and HL at tinnitus frequency), we observe a statistically significant association between age and low-frequency AAC. Contrary to the TCD predictions, however, we do not find any indication of statistical differences in AAC between tinnitus and controls and thus no evidence for the predicted enhancement of cross-frequency coupling in tinnitus.