Date of Completion

Spring 5-1-2020

Project Advisor(s)

Douglas Oliver; Charles Giardina; Monty Escabi

University Scholar Major

Molecular and Cell Biology


Behavioral Neurobiology | Laboratory and Basic Science Research | Other Neuroscience and Neurobiology


Tinnitus is a neurological condition that involves the perception of a sound that is not actually there. Individuals affected with tinnitus describe the condition as a ringing, buzzing, or whooshing sound in their ears. One-third of the population is estimated to have tinnitus, and for many individuals, the condition negatively impacts quality of life. Difficulty falling asleep, trouble with hearing and concentrating, and in some cases, depression, have all been observed to occur with tinnitus.

Tinnitus has been extensively studied in animals, and behavioral tests are the primary method of evaluating the presence of tinnitus in animals. This study evaluates tinnitus induction in CBA/CaJ mice using the Active Avoidance Shuttle Box Test as an assessment for tinnitus. Tinnitus was induced in unanesthetized mice with a unilateral exposure to a 116 dB SPL noise centered at 16 kHz for 1 hour. Half of the mice were exposed to this noise with a 2 kHz-wide bandwidth, while the other half was exposed to the same noise with a ½ octave-wide bandwidth. Behavioral signs of tinnitus were observed in 5 out of the 9 sound-exposed mice. Neither sound exposure appeared to be more effective in inducing tinnitus, however, the bandwidth of the sound exposure may possibly relate to the resulting frequencies of tinnitus observed in mice.