Our Solution

Harmonic Sound Therapy

Mind:Set Technologies has developed an new customized masking strategy called Harmonic Sound Therapy.  It is specifically designed to deliver targeted acoustic energy to the LPZ/LEF, yet at the same time allow significant portions of the hearing spectrum to remain unmasked.  This design, along with our use of AirDrives headphones, makes it possible to have dramatically increased exposure to the therapeutic sound because the ambient acoustic space is left open.

Harmonic Sound Therapy is designed to exploit the neuroanatomical organization of the “pitch cortex”.   Importantly, when patients are being tested to identify their tinnitus tone, they often mistake their true tinnitus tone for the tone an octave below.  This phenomenon is called “octave confusion”.  The reason why people do this can be explained by the organization of the “pitch cortex”.   

In Western musicology, there are 12 distinct notes that are defined before the pattern repeats itself.  Interestingly, in different cultures, there are a different number of “defined keys”, but the octave relationship is constant.  It turns out that the brain is also organized this way.  There is a special part of the brain that processes pitch which we will call the “pitch cortex” and it is organized like a helix.  (Figure 4)

The essence of Harmonic Sound Therapy is to use stimulation of the LEF and its sub-octave tones (i.e. tones that are in octave intervals lower than the tinnitus frequency) to decrease hyperactivity in the LPZ via the “pitch cortex”.  (Figure 5)

We stimulate sub-harmonic tones to the tinnitus frequency (i.e. the LEF) that avoids the noxious quality that would result if we stimulated the tinnitus frequency alone. 

At Mind:Set Technologies, we have used extensive patient testing to find the combination of sub-harmonic tones that lead to a masking sound that is on the one hand the most comfortable to listen to, and at the same time gives the most therapeutic benefit.  Now in reality, this is not a “tone” per se, but a band of structured noise that surrounds the tinnitus frequency and its sub-harmonics.  Each Harmonic Sound File will be different for each person. 

Our on-line protocol takes into account the tinnitus frequency, the right-left balance, and the difference in hearing from low to high tones to create a customized Harmonic Masking File for each user.  The end result is a file that sounds much like running water in the background, but the result is rather amazing.  Those who use these customized masking sounds feel as if the file “brings their head into balance”, almost as if they are not listening to anything at all. 

 

Because Harmonic Masking only targets the regions of the hearing spectrum that involve the tinnitus frequency and its sub-harmonics, the remaining portions of the hearing spectrum are allowed to pass through to the ear.  This is revolutionary, because it enables people to use their therapeutic sound files during the course of their everyday activities.  Of course, this pass-through phenomenon would not be possible if it were not for AirDrives Technology.