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Bob Adams rwadams at ma.ultranet.com
Mon May 26 22:49:23 EST 1997

I am interested in learning the exact cause of Tinitus. It seems that
there are two distinct versions; one in which the patient hears a
fixed tone at a particular frequency, and one where a "white-noise"
sound is heard.
	I have heard that is some cases the ringing in the ear is
actually discernable with a probe microphone inserted in the ear,
suggesting that some internal feedback mechanism is failing to
function properly. What role do the outer hair cells play in this
	If damaged cilia along the basilar membrane  are the cause of
tinitus, how specifically does this cause the sensation of a tone? One
could perhaps infer that in an undamaged ear, neighboring hair cells
fire in an anti-correlated pattern, suppressing the detection of the
background neural firing rate, but with many damaged hair cells this
anti-correlation cannot exist. But then how would one explain the
"noise-like" version of tinitus?
	Any info much appreciated!


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