Volume 113, Issue 4, April 2003
Index of content:
- PHYSIOLOGICAL ACOUSTICS 
113(2003); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.1547460View Description Hide Description
Individual variations in head and outer ear size, as well as growth of these structures during development, can markedly alter the values of the binaural and monaural cues which form the basis for auditory localization. This study investigated individual differences in the directional component of the head-related transfer function of both adult and juvenile ferrets. In line with previous studies in humans and cats, intersubject spectral differences were found to be reduced by scaling one of the directional transfer functions on a log-frequency axis. The optimal scale factor correlated most highly with pinna cavity height. Optimal frequency scaling reduced interear spectral difference equally well for adult–juvenile comparisons as for comparisons between pairs of adult ears. This illustrates that the developmental changes in localization cue values should be at least partly predictable on the basis of the expected growth rate of the outer ear structures. Predictions of interaural time differences (ITDs) were also derived from the physical dimensions of the head. ITDs were found to be poorly fitted by the spherical head model, while much better predictions could be derived from a model based on von Mises spherical basis functions. Together, these findings show how more accurate estimates of spatial cue values can be made from knowledge of the dimensions of the head and outer ears, and may facilitate the generation of virtual acoustic space stimuli in the absence of acoustical measurements from individual subjects.
113(2003); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.1560191View Description Hide Description
Ipsilateral suppression characteristics of transiently evoked otoacoustic emissions (TEOAEs) are described in relation to psychoacoustic threshold at 4000 Hz and the presence or absence of spontaneous otoacoustic emissions in 41 adults with normal hearing. TEOAE amplitudes were measured in response to 4000-Hz tonebursts presented in linear blocks at 40 and 50 dB SPL while puretone suppressors were introduced at a variety of frequencies and levels ipsilateral to and simultaneously with the tonebursts. Suppressors close to the toneburst frequency were most effective in decreasing the amplitude of the TEOAEs, while those more remote in frequency required significantly greater intensity for a similar amount of suppression. Consequently, characteristic tuning curve shapes were obtained. Tuning-curve tip levels were closely associated with the level of the toneburst and tip frequencies occurred at or above the toneburst frequency. Tuning-curve widths however, varied significantly across subjects with similar psychoacoustic thresholds in quiet determined by a two-alternative forced-choice method. The results suggest that a portion of that variability may be explained by the presence or absence of spontaneous otoacoustic emissions in an individual ear.