Subjective tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, is currently an incurable chronic condition with varying perceptual qualities and psychological reactions. Mindfulness-based therapies have been introduced as a treatment option to reduce the psychological severity of tinnitus. This presentation will introduce the neuroscience of tinnitus to a general audience and discuss attempts to better understand and treat tinnitus by studying neuroimaging measures collected over a mindfulness-based cognitive therapy intervention. By finding promising neuroimaging indicators of the successful treatment of tinnitus, it may be possible to improve our understanding of the condition and to construct effective interventions for its treatment.
Ben Zimmerman is a Beckman Institute Postdoc Fellow. He received his PhD at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign doing research with Drs. Monica Fabiani and Gabriele Gratton on the impact of cerebrovascular health on normal cognitive aging. As a postdoc fellow, Ben has continued his work in the neuroscience of aging, continuing to focus on the brain’s vascular health and mechanisms of cognitive aging, while also expanding research to tinnitus with Dr. Fatima Husain.