Deep brain stimulation of the inferior colliculus in the rodent suppresses tinnitus

Jasper V. Smit*, Marcus L. F. Janssen, Gusta van Zwieten, Ali Jahanshahi, Yasin Temel, Robert J. Stokroos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In animal models of tinnitus pathological neuronal activity has been demonstrated. Deep brain stimulation disrupts pathological neuronal activity and might therefore be a potential treatment for patients who suffer severely from tinnitus. In this study, the effect of DBS in the inferior colliculi is investigated in an animal model of tinnitus. The external cortex of the inferior colliculus was targeted because of the key position of the inferior colliculus within the auditory network and the relation of the external cortex with the limbic system. In this study we show the effect of DBS in the inferior colliculus on tinnitus using a within-subject experimental design. After noise trauma, rats showed a significant increase in gap:no gap ratio of the gap-induced prepulse inhibition at 16 and 20 kHz (p <0.05), indicating the presence of tinnitus in these frequency bands. During DBS the gap:no gap ratio returned back to baseline (p <0.05). Hearing thresholds before and during DBS did not differ, indicating that hearing function is probably not impaired by electrical stimulation. In summary, this study shows that DBS of the inferior colliculi is effective in reducing behavioral signs of tinnitus in an animal model. Impaired hearing function could not be objectified as a side effect of stimulation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-124
JournalBrain Research
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016


  • Tinnitus
  • Animal model
  • Deep brain stimulation
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Inferior colliculus

Cite this