Title
Phantom percepts : tinnitus and pain as persisting aversive memory networks
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Publication type
article
Publication
Washington, D.C. ,
Subject
Human medicine
Source (journal)
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. - Washington, D.C.
Volume/pages
108(2011) :20 , p. 8075-8080
ISSN
0027-8424
1091-6490
ISI
000290719600009
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
Phantom perception refers to the conscious awareness of a percept in the absence of an external stimulus. On the basis of basic neuroscience on perception and clinical research in phantom pain and phantom sound, we propose a working model for their origin. Sensory deafferentation results in high-frequency, gamma band, synchronized neuronal activity in the sensory cortex. This activity becomes a conscious percept only if it is connected to larger coactivated (self-)awareness and salience brain networks. Through the involvement of learning mechanisms, the phantom percept becomes associated to distress, which in turn is reflected by a simultaneously coactivated nonspecific distress network consisting of the anterior cingulate cortex, anterior insula, and amygdala. Memory mechanisms play a role in the persistence of the awareness of the phantom percept, as well as in the reinforcement of the associated distress. Thus, different dynamic overlapping brain networks should be considered as targets for the treatment of this disorder.
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