SUBJECT MATTER EXPERT: Susan Shore, PhD
After 20 years of painstaking research, Dr. Shore made national headlines this year with groundbreaking research results that showed positive effects in tinnitus treatment using bimodal stimulation. She heads the team of researchers at the University of Michigan, where it was discovered that “touch”-sensitive (somatosensory) neurons in the auditory region of the brain become hyperactive and synchronized with each other in guinea pigs and humans with tinnitus. The team’s preliminary studies found that bimodal stimulation, which calms neurons using specially-timed multisensory stimulation, reduces tinnitus distress and loudness. In the fall, her team will begin the next phase of research, with the goal of replicating earlier results and gaining Food and Drug Administration approval for commercialization of the technique.