Tinnitus and Cognitive Interference A Stroop Paradigm Study Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 2000
Tinnitus and Cognitive Interference
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Gerhard Andersson
    Department of Psychology and Department of Audiology Uppsala University Uppsala, Sweden
  • Jan Eriksson
    Department of Psychology Uppsala University Uppsala, Sweden
  • Lars-Gunnar Lundh
    Department of Psychology Stockholm University Stockholm, Sweden
  • Leif Lyttkens
    Department of Audiology Uppsala University Uppsala, Sweden
  • Contact author: Gerhard Andersson, PhD, Department of Psychology, Uppsala University, Box 1225, SE-751 42, Uppsala, Sweden. Email: gerhard.andersson@psyk.uu.se
    Contact author: Gerhard Andersson, PhD, Department of Psychology, Uppsala University, Box 1225, SE-751 42, Uppsala, Sweden. Email: gerhard.andersson@psyk.uu.se×
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: gerhard.andersson@psyk.uu.se
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 2000
Tinnitus and Cognitive Interference
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2000, Vol. 43, 1168-1173. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4305.1168
History: Received March 2, 1999 , Accepted June 5, 2000
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2000, Vol. 43, 1168-1173. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4305.1168
History: Received March 2, 1999; Accepted June 5, 2000

The aim of this study was to investigate cognitive interference caused by tinnitus by means of a modified version of the Stroop color-word test. In a mixed-design study, the performances of tinnitus patients (n=23) and healthy controls with normal hearing (n=23) were compared on three versions of the Stroop test: the original version, a modified version including physical-threat words, and a tinnitus version for which tinnitus words (descriptors of tinnitus; e.g., peep) were derived empirically. Matched control conditions (words) were included for all three versions, yielding a total of six screens that were presented on a computer. Participants in the control group were matched with the patients for age and gender. Main dependent measures were performance on the Stroop tests in terms of total time for completing each test. Also included were the Tinnitus Questionnaire (TQ), the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), the state version of the Spielberger Trait State Anxiety Inventory (STAI-S), and a subtest from the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale measuring verbal ability. Results showed that tinnitus patients performed significantly slower on all six test conditions. The classical Stroop color-word interference was replicated in both groups. Also, an effect for physical-threat words was found for both groups. Our expected tinnitus word interference could not be established. Patients scored significantly higher than controls on the BDI and the STAI, but these measures did not correlate with the Stroop results. In conclusion, the results indicate that tinnitus patients have impaired cognitive performance overall, as measured by these variations of the Stroop paradigm, but hearing impairment cannot be excluded as a possible confounder.

Acknowledgment
This work was supported in part by the Sasakawa Young Leaders' Fellowship Fund.
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