Textbook of Tinnitus

pp 133-144

Behavioral Animal Models of Tinnitus, Pharmacology, and Treatment

  • Richard SalviAffiliated withCenter for Hearing and Deafness, University at Buffalo Email author 
  • , Edward Lobarinas
  • , Wei Sun

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  1. 1.

    Tinnitus research on humans is difficult, primarily because the pathophysiology of tinnitus is still not well understood.

  2. 2.

    A number of animal models have been developed in order to study conditions that may lead to tinnitus and evaluate treatments for efficacy and safety before being used in human trials.

  3. 3.
    Current tinnitus animal models fall into five general subtypes:
    1. a.

      Lick suppression

    2. b.

      Operant conditioning

    3. c.

      False-positive models

    4. d.

      Avoidance conditioning

    5. e.

      Startle reflex models

  4. 4.
    Animal models have evaluated tinnitus induced primarily by:
    1. a.

      High doses of sodium salicylate

    2. b.

      High doses of quinine

    3. c.

      High-level noise exposure

  5. 5.
    A number of tinnitus treatments that target specific mechanisms have been proposed and tested in animal models. These include:
    1. a.

      Calcium channel antagonists

    2. b.

      GABA agonists

    3. c.

      NMDA antagonists

    4. d.


    5. e.

      Potassium channel modulators

    6. f.

      Transcranial magnetic stimulation

  6. 6.

    Tinnitus animal models provide important guidance in the development of new drug therapies.



Animal models Drug therapy Startle reflex Tinnitus