Volume 107, Issue 2, February 2000
Index of content:
- PHYSIOLOGICAL ACOUSTICS 
107(2000); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.428271View Description Hide Description
The post-mortem transfer function of the cochlea of the guinea pig was compared to the transfer function generated by a model with parameters derived from physical measurements of the guinea pig cochlea. Both the formulation and parameters of the model were carefully chosen to be realistic using evidence from published measurements. The fit between the transfer function of the model and recent mechanical measurements of the passive guinea pig cochlear response was good, with a root mean square ratio of 6.3 dB in amplitude and 0.33π rad in phase. The model was used to explore the effect of cochlear partition mode factor and duct geometry upon the mechanical response of the cochlea. Possible inadequacies of the model which could explain the remaining differences between the output of the model and measurements are discussed.
Stochastic properties of cat auditory nerve responses to electric and acoustic stimuli and application to intensity discrimination107(2000); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.428269View Description Hide Description
Statistical properties of electrically stimulated (ES) and acoustically stimulated (AS) auditory nerve fiber responses were assessed in undeafened and short-term deafened cats, and a detectiontheory approach was used to determine fibers’ abilities to signal intensity changes. ES responses differed from AS responses in several ways. Rate-level functions were an order of magnitude steeper, and discharge rate normally saturated at the stimulus pulse rate. Dynamic ranges were typically 1–4 dB for 200 pps signals, as compared with 15–30 dB for AS signals at CF, and they increased with pulse rate without improving threshold or changing absolute rate-level function slopes. For both ES and AS responses, variability of spike counts elicited by repeated trials increased with level in accord with Poisson-process predictions until the discharge rate exceeded 20–40 spikes/s. AS variability continued increasing monotonically at higher discharge rates, but more slowly. In contrast, maximum ES variability was usually attained at 100 spikes/s, and at higher discharge rates variability reached a plateau that was either maintained or decreased slightly until discharge rate approached the stimulus pulse rate. Variability then decreased to zero as each pulse elicited a spike. Increasing pulse rate did not substantially affect variability for rates up to 800 pps; rather, higher pulse rates simply extended the plateau region. Spike count variability was unusually high for some ES fibers. This was traced to response nonstationarities that stemmed from two sources, namely level-dependent fluctuations in excitability that occurred at 1–3 s intervals and, for responses to high-rate, high-intensity signals, fatigue that arose when fibers discharged at their maximum possible rates. Intensity discrimination performance was assessed using spike count as the decision variable in a simulated 2IFC task. Neurometric functions (percent correct versus intensity difference) were obtained at several levels of the standard (I), and the intensity difference necessary for 70% correct responses was estimated. AS Weber fractions averaged +0.2 dB for 50 ms tones at CF. ES Weber fractions averaged −12.8 dB for 50 ms, 200 pps signals, and performance was approximately constant between 100 and 1000 pps. Intensity discrimination by single cells in ES conditions paralleled human psychophysical performance for similar signals. High ES sensitivity to intensity changes arose primarily from steeper rate-level functions and secondarily from reduced spike count variability.