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the antinnitus® project


The ear as a complex resonance system

In common the tinnitus is defined to be a disease. Consequently the entire approach to the subject up to several therapy recommendations is regarded to be a school medicine domain as a matter of course, and that without any serious protest. Germany has approximately 8 million people suffering from tinnitus.

During an investigation at the beginning of the antinnitus® project we interviewed a number of former tinnitus patients. The distinctness of their experiences with several therapies was
unmistakeable. After an “odyssey” they rarely experienced relief of the symptoms and never a complete elimination.

Researcher at the institute for applied acoustics
(ifa) , who looked after the antinnitus® project, regarded the receptive ear in an unconventional manner for a start, to be a complex resonance system, to so examine its ability to membrane. The physical contemplation that all resonance systems basically exist out of a generator, a vibrator and a resonator was examined non invasive.

Amongst the used instruments, was one especially created by the ifa for this, a worldwide unique measuring method to figure out the characteristics of the tinnitus. Here are some theoretical and practical explanations about the operation function of the audio application in the antinnitus® project.

>Based on successful applications at complex resonance systems, e.g. musical instruments in the years between 1985 and 1995, another process was developed at the ifa , meaning to allow the resulting experiences with dead materials to be transferred onto biological systems, called the antinnitus® project.

Most probably it all comes from the fact, that biological systems take genetically advantage before technical systems in their long adaptation process to changes in their environment, because without a doubt, ears existed long before artificially created instruments and contained already all important abilities of perception to noise and locating the same, as well as an organ for room definition ( balance organ) , important functions when hunting and of course to prevent danger in moments of danger and when escaping the same.

In that context it would have been natural, to first examine all swinging and resonance characteristics of the biological systems. Typically this is more difficult as on artificially created instruments or parts that never have the complex structure of an auditory canal. Nevertheless analogue conclusions can be taken, since the model character of an artificial swinging system can be compared with the living ear system in several ways, even though, we still have not understood all of its complex contexts by now in the authors opinion.

In the electro acoustics we know of a phenomenon called acoustic feedback, in which a signal coming from a speaker reacts through a microphone that transfers back to the source, resulting in a resonance disaster, that rises from a steady increasing frequency and amplitude modulation to be a noticeable very unpleasant noise that only limits in the actual capability of the whole system.
Theoretically there is a shortcut between source and sphere of operation, while the results of the swinging cycle instantly modulate the resonant circuit again. This could easily be put to test by everyone who owes a recorder with a speaker and a microphone – but you should be warned that the feedback caused by the system will cause destructive damage when some of the involved parts do not withstand the rising energy any longer.
It is very likely to transfer this resonance disaster onto the ear, but this time the technical sources are different, e.g. biological, chemo-biological or psychological.

It is possible to manipulate a technical swinging system by changing its parameters, like e.g. the building size
(bass flute –piccolo flute), but also the composition of the materials of an instrument. In general they obey an inner tension coursed by all too different materials and their different oscillation patterns. Ideally, an instrument should be in resonance with all of its parts in order to generate pleasant tones throughout its frequency range. But this is avoided through the inner deadening of the complete system by the choice of its materials, their size and how they are put together and the actual composition and allocation of their masses.

The abolition of this within limits was the purpose of the first developing steps in the antinnitus® project, since the application on musical instruments not only proofed its basic possibility but also a lasting result. If an instrument had been applied energised resonance spectrums that only orientate at its capacity limit to un-deaden, the result remained for good, which makes physical sense anyways, since every system, at all times, tries to settle with its lowest energy condition – a inner tension would increase the energy content potentially (a cocked crossbow contains more energy then a released).

It could be proofed and sustained that the very same process also works against the appearance of tinnitus. A simple application of the inference phenomenon is to be considered as unsuitable.

(tinnitus-study I. und II.: 29 sessions between 11.11.1998 and 26.02.1999)
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