The Consummate Collaborator

Richard Salvi has collaborated with researchers world-wide on scientific studies investigating mechanisms of tinnitus. I am one of many researchers who has benefited from the breadth and depth of his knowledge, his collegiality, and his research accomplishments. In an early stage of our research Dick participated in an international workshop on the Neuroscience of Tinnitus held in Vancouver with the support of the New Emerging Team program of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the TransCoop Programme of the Humboldt Foundation (Germany). This photograph shows Dick responding to questions from an audience of about 275 Vancouverites who attended a public forum held as part of the workshop. Public engagement and leadership in support of tinnitus research is another other aspect of his distinguished contribution over the years, as is his generous counsel extended to individuals suffering from tinnitus.

Richard Salvi, Larry Roberts, Jim Kaltenbach, Josef Rauschecker, Jos Eggermont, and Lawrence Ward, Public Forum on the Neuroscience of Tinnitus, Vancouver

My personal reminisces include a bit of Dick's history. I believe he lived in Fargo North Dakota as a teenager, which (although I did not live there) I had the experience of visiting a few times in my youth. I believe he earned his PhD in Experimental Psychology. I first became aware of Dick's research through his pioneering functional imaging studies on tinnitus modulated by somatosensory maneuvers and eye movements in the late 1990s. Re-reading those studies reminds me of their freshness even 20 years later. These were the first experiments to reveal activation of limbic structures in tinnitus including the hippocampus which has since been confirmed by many studies. A striking feature of Dick's research has been his eagerness to engage new domains and techniques ranging from animal models to molecular studies when they hold promise for understanding tinnitus. This range is vividly evident not only in his published papers but also in his role as a commentator in conferences on tinnitus (a role for which he is frequently sought).

About the author

Larry Roberts

Larry Roberts is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience, and Behaviour at McMaster University. His research has investigated mechanisms of neural plasticity in the human auditory system and how these mechanisms may be involved in the generation of tinnitus. Most recently he joined with Richard Salvi to edit a special issue of Neuroscience on the topics hearing loss, tinnitus, hyperacusis, and the role of central gain. Roberts’ research has been supported by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the American Tinnitus Association, and the Tinnitus Research Initiative. Presently he serves as a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the American Tinnitus Association.