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Associations Between Subjective Tinnitus and Cognitive Performance: Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses

Clarke, Nathan A.; Henshaw, Helen; Akeroyd, Michael A.; Adams, Bethany; Hoare, Derek J.


Nathan A. Clarke

Bethany Adams

Associate Professor in Hearing Sciences


Tinnitus is the perception of sound in the absence of a corresponding external sound source, and bothersome tinnitus has been linked to poorer cognitive performance. This review comprehensively quantifies the association between tinnitus and different domains of cognitive performance. The review protocol was preregistered and published in a peer-reviewed journal. The review and analyses were reported according to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-analysis guidelines. Peer-reviewed literature was searched using electronic databases to find studies featuring participants with tinnitus who had undertaken measures of cognitive performance. Studies were assessed for quality and categorized according to an established cognitive framework. Random-effects meta-analyses were performed on various cognitive domains with potential moderator variables assessed where possible. Thirty-eight records were included in the analysis from a total of 1,863 participants. Analyses showed that tinnitus is associated with poorer executive function, processing speed, general short-term memory, and general learning and retrieval. Narrow cognitive domains of Inhibition and Shifting (within executive function) and learning and retrieval (within general learning and retrieval) were also associated with tinnitus.


Clarke, N. A., Henshaw, H., Akeroyd, M. A., Adams, B., & Hoare, D. J. (2020). Associations Between Subjective Tinnitus and Cognitive Performance: Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses. Trends in Hearing, 24,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 19, 2020
Online Publication Date May 21, 2020
Publication Date May 21, 2020
Deposit Date Mar 26, 2020
Publicly Available Date May 21, 2020
Journal Trends in Hearing
Electronic ISSN 2331-2165
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 24
Article Number 233121652091841
Keywords tinnitus, cognition, cognitive performance, attention, memory, executive function
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Tinnitus (1.5 Mb)

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