Tinnitus, a common hearing condition encountered in medicolegal evaluations, often but not always in association with traumatic brain injuries, can adversely impact both cognitive and affective functioning and neuropsychological test results. Although it has been traditionally conceptualized as primarily related to cochlear pathology, tinnitus has been seen more recently as a condition involving brain plasticity. Its persistent clinical effect on cognition and affect is compounded by comorbid psychiatric syndromes such as depression. Understanding the impact of tinnitus, a factor often difficult to capture and neglected in forensic neuropsychology, is essential for determination of causality, diagnosis, prognosis, functional outcomes, and treatment in medicolegal neuropsychological assessment. This paper aims to critically review and integrate the available empirical evidence from neuroscience and neuropsychology regarding the cognitive and affective impact of tinnitus. Our research review will emphasize the implications of the new evidence for the forensic assessment determinations. To this end, electronic search engines, including PubMed, PsycINFO, and Google Scholar (up to January 2018), have been screened and reviewed for the neuroscience and neuropsychological literature related to tinnitus.
Izabela Z. Schultz, Amir A. Sepehry, Sarah C. Greer
Psychological Injury and Law, June 2018, Volume 11, Issue 2