CIHR NET Group on “Understanding Tinnitus” reaches a successful conclusion


In 2002 we organized a group of five laboratories in Canada to conduct complementary research into the mechanisms underlying tinnitus.  In addition to our laboratory other participants were Jos Eggermont (University of Calgary), Ian Bruce (McMaster), Suzanna Becker (McMaster), and Lawrence Ward (University of British Columbia).   We obtained support from the “New Emerging Team” program of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and from the Trans-Coop program of the Humboldt Foundation (Berlin), which enable two laboratories in Germany to join the collaboration (Thomas Elbert and colleagues from the University of Konstanz, and Christo Pantev from the University of Muenster).

Our NET project concluded in 2008 (NET awards are not renewable), but several of the research collaborations have continued.   One highlight was a publication in Trends in Neurosciences (Eggermont and Roberts, 2004) describing how synchronous neural activity in tonotopic regions of auditory cortex affected by hearing loss may contribute to the generation of tinnitus sounds.  Our symposium on “Ringing Ears: The Neuroscience of Tinnitus” at the Society for Neuroscience in 2010 considered further how age-related changes in intracortical inhibition and neuroplastic compensations in somatosensory pathways contribute to tinnitus, and how brain network activity is recruited (Roberts, Eggermont, Caspary, Shore, Melcher, and Kaltenbach, 2010).    

As part of our NET project we held a public forum on “The Neuroscience of Tinnitus” that attracted a standing-room only audience from the Vancouver lower mainland region. 

Scenes from this event (which was as inspiring to us researchers as to our attendees) can be viewed from the link below.

NETers and their colleagues, students, and guests

CIHR Net Group


Eggermont JJ,  Roberts LE  (2004)  The neuroscience of tinnitus.  Trends in Neurosciences, 27:676-682.

Roberts LE, Eggermont JJ, Caspary DC, Shore SE, Melcher JR, Kaltenbach JA  (2010)  Ringing ears: The neuroscience of tinnitus.  Journal of Neuroscience, 30:14980-14986.

Public Forum, Vancouver, November 15th 2003