The Department of Otorhinolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery at the National University Bundang Hospital in Seoul, the capital of South Korea, investigates tinnitus with functional neurological imaging. Their research includes three shutters.
The first part examines the pathophysiology of tinnitus and the changes of brain function after various treatments. The therapeutic policy of the department consists of medication, hearing aids, non-invasive neuromodulation (mainly tDCS and tRNS) and cochlear implants. The brain activity is compared before and after treatment with qEEG recordings. This data contributes to the research of which treatment can be most efficient for a certain group of people with tinnitus.
A second part examines the brain activity of people who have a cochlear implant. The neural plasticity that can be related to deafness is mapped by performing qEEG and PET scans (position emission tomography) before and after implantation. By using 'LASSO machine learning' the lab tries to predict the effect of a cochlear implant based on PET scans.
The third part is the development of an objective evaluation method to check the effectiveness of a treatment of pulsatile tinnitus. For this they use transcranal sound recording and spectrotemporal analysis.