Volume 113, Issue 2, February 2003
Index of content:
- PHYSIOLOGICAL ACOUSTICS 
113(2003); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.1515777View Description Hide Description
A revised computational model of the inner-hair cell (IHC) and auditory-nerve (AN) complex was recently presented [Sumner et al., J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 111, 2178–2188 (2002)]. One key improvement is that the model reproduces the rate-intensity functions of low- (LSR), medium- (MSR), and high-spontaneous rate (HSR) fibers in the guinea-pig. Here we describe the adaptation characteristics of the model, and how they vary with model fiber type. Adaptation of the revised model for a HSR fiber is in line with an earlier version of the model [Meddis and Hewitt, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 90, 904–917 (1991)]. In guinea-pig, poststimulus time histograms (PSTH) have been found to show less adaptation in LSR fibers. Evidence from chinchilla suggests that this is due to chronic adaptation resulting from short interstimulus intervals, and that fully recovered LSR fibers actually show more adaptation. However, the model is able to account for both variations of PSTH shape when fully recovered from adaptation. Interstimulus interval can also affect recovery in the model. The model is further tested against data previously used to evaluate models of AN adaptation. The tests are (i) recovery from adaptation of spontaneous rate and (ii) the recovery of response to acoustic stimuli (“forward masking”), (iii) the response to stimulus increments and (iv) decrements, and (v) the conservation of transient components. A HSR model fiber performs similarly to the earlier version of the model. However, there is considerable variation in response to increments and decrements between different model fibers.
113(2003); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.1534606View Description Hide Description
The ear canal sound pressure and the malleus umbo velocity with bone conduction (BC) stimulation were measured in nine ears from five cadaver heads in the frequency range 0.1 to 10 kHz. The measurements were conducted with both open and occluded ear canals, before and after resection of the lower jaw, in a canal with the cartilage and soft tissues removed, and with the tympanic membrane (TM) removed. The sound pressure was about 10 dB greater in an intact ear canal than when the cartilage part of the canal had been removed. The occlusion effect was close to 20 dB for the low frequencies in an intact ear canal; this effect diminished with sectioning of the canal. At higher frequencies, the resonance properties of the ear canal determined the effect of occluding the ear canal. Sectioning of the lower jaw did not significantly alter the sound pressure in the ear canal. The sound radiated from the TM into the ear canal was investigated in four temporal bone specimens; this sound is significantly lower than the sound pressure in an intact ear canal with BC stimulation. The malleus umbo velocity with air conduction stimulation was investigated in nine temporal bone specimens and compared with the umbo velocity obtained with BC stimulation in the cadaver heads. The results show that for a normal open ear canal, the sound pressure in the ear canal with BC stimulation is not significant for BC hearing. At threshold levels and for frequencies below 2 kHz, the sound in the ear canal caused by BC stimulation is about 10 dB lower than air conduction hearing thresholds; this difference increases at higher frequencies. However, with the ear canal occluded, BC hearing is dominated by the sound pressure in the outer ear canal for frequencies between 0.4 and 1.2 kHz.
Differential responses to acoustic damage and furosemide in auditory brainstem and otoacoustic emission measures113(2003); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.1535942View Description Hide Description
Characteristics of distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs) and auditory brainstem responses (ABRs) were measured in Mongolian gerbil before and after the introduction of two different auditory dysfunctions: (1) acoustic damage with a high-intensity tone, or (2) furosemide intoxication. The goal was to find emission parameters and measures that best differentiated between the two dysfunctions, e.g., at a given ABR threshold elevation. Emission input–output or “growth” functions were used (frequencies and with equal levels, and unequal levels, with The best parametric choice was found to be unequal stimulus levels, and the best measure was found to be the change in the emission threshold level, The emission threshold was defined as the stimulus level required to reach a criterion emission amplitude, in this case −10 dB SPL. (The next best measure was the change in emission amplitude at high stimulus levels, specifically that measured at SPL.) For an ABR threshold shift of 20 dB or more, there was essentially no overlap in the emission threshold measures for the two conditions, sound damage or furosemide. The dividing line between the two distributions increased slowly with the change in ABR threshold, ΔABR, and was given by For a given ΔABR, if the shift in emission threshold was more than the calculated dividing line value, the auditory dysfunction was due to acoustic damage, if less, it was due to furosemide.
Patterns of phoneme perception errors by listeners with cochlear implants as a function of overall speech perception ability113(2003); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.1536630View Description Hide Description
Many studies have noted great variability in speech perception ability among postlingually deafened adults with cochlear implants. This study examined phoneme misperceptions for 30 cochlear implant listeners using either the Nucleus-22 or Clarion version 1.2 device to examine whether listeners with better overall speech perception differed qualitatively from poorer listeners in their perception of vowel and consonant features. In the first analysis, simple regressions were used to predict the mean percent-correct scores for consonants and vowels for the better group of listeners from those of the poorer group. A strong relationship between the two groups was found for consonant identification, and a weak, nonsignificant relationship was found for vowel identification. In the second analysis, it was found that less information was transmitted for consonant and vowel features to the poorer listeners than to the better listeners; however, the pattern of information transmission was similar across groups. Taken together, results suggest that the performance difference between the two groups is primarily quantitative. The results underscore the importance of examining individuals’ perception of individual phoneme features when attempting to relate speech perception to other predictor variables.
The importance of cochlear processing for the formation of auditory brainstem and frequency following responses113(2003); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.1534833View Description Hide Description
A model for the generation of auditory brainstem responses (ABR) and frequency following responses (FFRs) is presented. The model is based on the concept introduced by Goldstein and Kiang [J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 30, 107–114 (1958)] that evoked potentials recorded at remote electrodes can theoretically be given by convolution of an elementary unit waveform (unitary response) with the instantaneous discharge rate function for the corresponding unit. In the present study, the nonlinear computational auditory-nerve model recently developed by Heinz et al. [ARLO 2(3), 91–96 (2001)] was used to calculate the instantaneous discharge rate for fibers i in the frequency range from 0.1 and 10 kHz. The summed activity across frequency was convolved with a unitary response which is assumed to reflect contributions from different cell populations within the auditory brainstem, recorded at a given pair of electrodes on the scalp. Predicted potential patterns are compared with experimental data for a number of stimulus and level conditions. Clicks, chirps as defined in Dau et al. [J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 107, 1530–1540 (2000)], long-duration stimuli comprising the chirp, as well as tones and slowly varying tonal sweeps were considered. The results demonstrate the importance of considering the effects of the basilar-membrane traveling wave and auditory-nerve processing for the formation of ABR and FFR. Specifically, the results support the hypothesis that the FFR to low-frequency tones represents synchronized activity mainly stemming from mid- and high-frequency units at more basal sites, and not from units tuned to frequencies around the signal frequency.