top of page
Image by jesse orrico

Acute (New Onset) Tinnitus Research 


This study aims to help us better understand the brain processes that cause tinnitus, by measuring brain activity at multiple time points (3) throughout the development of the condition.  

What would I gain by taking part in the study?

By taking part, you would be helping to better understand tinnitus in a way that might lead to improved treatments. Some volunteers find it an interesting experience to take part in this type of research. The procedures used are safe and non-invasive. We also will reimburse any reasonable travel expenses incurred, and a participation fee of £10 per whole or part hour as a thank you for your time and effort.

What will I do?

You will be sent a quick online questionnaire to check your eligibility. If eligible, you will visit the lab 3 times over a period of 6 months (2-3 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months following the onset of tinnitus).  Each visit should take around 3.5 hours (including breaks). The visit will include:

  • quick standardized questionnaires and a hearing test;

  • a computer-based sound test to find out more about the characteristics of your tinnitus; 

  • an EEG (electroencephalography) session, which records your brain activity based on tiny electrical currents on the scalp. The recording involves multiple short phases, some just requiring you to sit and relax, with or without choosing a subtitled movie to watch, and one where you perform a simple counting task;

    • for the EEG recording, a fabric cap is placed over your head, and a number of spots of gel placed in this to help the electrodes pick up your brain activity;

  • a final computer-based task that measures a process called ‘residual inhibition’, which looks at whether listening to noise for 60 seconds at a time can temporarily quieten your tinnitus.

Who can take part in this study?

  • Tinnitus that first began no more than 4 weeks ago (persistent sound heard in one or both ears that are not coming from an external sound source or actual sounds being generated inside your body such as turbulent blood flow), that is present all or most of the time in the absence of background sounds that are sufficiently loud to mask it;

  • Age 18 or over;

  • The ability to make and communicate an informed choice about whether to take part in the study;

  • The ability to sit still and comfortably in a comfortable chair for around 2 hours at a time;

  • There are some exclusion criteria, including certain neurological or mental health conditions, or the ongoing use of certain medications. The research team can provide more details about these.

Where does the study take place?

The study takes place in the Clinical Sensory Cognition Laboratory at Newcastle University Medical School, which is on Framlington Place, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 4HH. The meeting point is the Medical School Main Reception, at the Medical School entrance.

Currently recruiting 


Thank you for your interest in our research.
If you would like to participate in this study, please click on the button below to complete the Pre-Screening Questionnaire. 

This will help us determine whether you are eligible for the study. 

bottom of page