Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of silence on the appearance of auditory phantom perceptions in normal-hearing adults, with specific emphasis on the influence of suggestion. Study Design: Cross-sectional survey. Subjects and Methods: Fifty-three normal-hearing young Caucasian adults were subjected to two 4-minute sessions in an anechoic sound chamber. In the first session the chamber was empty; in the second session the chamber contained a nonfunctioning loudspeaker. At the end of each session, subjects had to indicate which sounds they perceived from a list of 23 different sounds. Results: When the loudspeaker was not present, 83 percent of the participants reported that they experienced at least one sound, and the percentage increased to 92 percent when the loudspeaker was present. Conclusion: These results confirm the emergence of tinnituslike perceptions in a nonclinical population in a silent environment and indicate that suggestive mechanisms play only a minor role in their generation.
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