Volume 109, Issue 2, February 2001
Index of content:
- PHYSIOLOGICAL ACOUSTICS 
109(2001); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.1334597View Description Hide Description
This paper tests key predictions of the “two-mechanism model” for the generation of distortion-product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs). The two-mechanism model asserts that lower-sideband DPOAEs constitute a mixture of emissions arising not simply from two distinct cochlear locations (as is now well established) but, more importantly, by two fundamentally different mechanisms: nonlinear distortion induced by the traveling wave and linear coherent reflection off pre-existing micromechanical impedance perturbations. The model predicts that (1) DPOAEs evoked by frequency-scaled stimuli (e.g., at fixed can be unmixed into putative distortion- and reflection-source components with the frequency dependence of their phases consistent with the presumed mechanisms of generation; (2) The putative reflection-source component of the total DPOAE closely matches the reflection-source emission (e.g., low level stimulus-frequency emission) measured at the same frequency under similar conditions. These predictions were tested by unmixing DPOAEs into components using two completely different methods: (a) selective suppression of the putative reflection source using a third tone near the distortion-product frequency and (b) spectral smoothing (or, equivalently, time-domain windowing). Although the two methods unmix in very different ways, they yield similar DPOAE components. The properties of the two DPOAE components are consistent with the predictions of the two-mechanism model.
Spontaneous otoacoustic emissions and relaxation dynamics of long decay time OAEs in audiometrically normal and impaired subjects109(2001); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.1336502View Description Hide Description
The relationship between hearing loss,detected by measuring the audiometric threshold shift, and the presence of long-lasting otoacoustic emissions, has been studied in a population of 66 adult males, by analyzing the cochlear response in the 80 ms following the subministration of a click stimulus. Most long-lasting OAEs are also recognizable as Synchronized Spontaneous OAEs (SSOAEs). The OAE characteristic decay times were evaluated according to the model by Sisto and Moleti [J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 106, 1893 (1999)]. The starting hypothesis, confirmed by the results, is that long decay time and large equilibrium amplitude are both manifestations of the effectiveness of the active feedback mechanism. The prevalence and frequency distribution of long-lasting OAEs, and of their SSOAE subset, have been separately analyzed for normal and impaired ears. No long-lasting OAE was found within the hearing loss frequency range, but several were found in impaired ears outside the hearing loss range, both at lower and higher frequencies. This result suggests that the correlation between the presence of long-lasting OAEs and good cochlear functionality be local in the frequency domain. The monitor of the OAE decay time is proposed as a new possible method for early detectinghearing loss in populations exposed to noise.
A phenomenological model for the responses of auditory-nerve fibers: I. Nonlinear tuning with compression and suppression109(2001); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.1336503View Description Hide Description
A phenomenological model was developed to describe responses of high-spontaneous-rate auditory-nerve (AN) fibers, including several nonlinear response properties. Level-dependent gain (compression), bandwidth, and phase properties were implemented with a control path that varied the gain and bandwidth of tuning in the signal-path filter. By making the bandwidth of the control path broad with respect to the signal path, the wide frequency range of two-tone suppression was included. By making the control-path filter level dependent and tuned to a frequency slightly higher than the signal-path filter, other properties of two-tone suppression were also included. These properties included the asymmetrical growth of suppression above and below the characteristic frequency and the frequency offset of the suppression tuning curve with respect to the excitatory tuning curve. The implementation of this model represents a relatively simple phenomenological description of a single mechanism that underlies several important nonlinear response properties of AN fibers. The model provides a tool for studying the roles of these nonlinearities in the encoding of simple and complex sounds in the responses of populations of AN fibers.
Distinguishing cochlear pathophysiology in 4-aminopyridine and furosemide treated ears using a nonlinear systems identification technique109(2001); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.1340644View Description Hide Description
To test the adequacy of physiologic indices derived from a third-order polynomial model quantifying cochlear mechano-electric transduction (MET), 24 Mongolian gerbils were exposed to either 250-mM glucose (control), 150-mM 4-aminopyridine (4-AP), or 30-mM furosemide solutions applied to the round window (RW) membrane. The cochlear microphonic (CM) was recorded from the RW in response to 68- and 88-dB SPL Gaussian noise. A nonlinear systems identification technique (NLID) provided the frequency-domain parameters and physiologic indices of the polynomial model of MET. The control group showed no change in both compound action potential (CAP) thresholds and CM. Exposure to 4-AP and furosemide resulted in a similar elevation in CAP thresholds and a reduction in CM. However, the polynomial model of MET showed different changes. The operating point, slope, and symmetry of the MET function, the polynomial model parameters, and related nonlinear coherences differed between the experimental groups. It is concluded that the NLID technique is sensitive and specific to alterations in the cochlear physiology.