Volume 118, Issue 6, December 2005
Index of content:
- PHYSIOLOGICAL ACOUSTICS 
Effect of voltage-dependent membrane properties on active force generation in cochlear outer hair cell118(2005); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.2118387View Description Hide Description
A computational model is proposed to analyze the active force production in an individual outer hair cell (OHC) under high-frequency conditions. The model takes into account important biophysical properties of the cell as well as constraints imposed by the surrounding environment. The biophysical properties include the elastic, piezoelectric, and viscous characteristics of the cell wall. The effect of the environment is associated with the stiffness of the constraint and the drag forces acting on the cell due to the interaction with the external and internal viscous fluids. The study concentrated on a combined effect of the transmembrane potential, frequency, and stiffness of the constraints. The effect of the voltage-dependent stiffness of the cell was particularly investigated and it was found to be twofold. First, it results in higher sensitivity and nonlinearity of the OHC active force production in the physiological range. Second, it determines smaller active forces in the hyperpolarization range. The resonant properties of the active force as functions of voltage and the constraint stiffness were also analyzed. The obtained results can be important for a better understanding of the OHC active force production and the contribution of cell electromotility to the cochlear amplification, sensitivity, and nonlinearity.
Evidence for a bipolar change in distortion product otoacoustic emissions during contralateral acoustic stimulation in humans118(2005); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.2109127View Description Hide Description
The aim of this study was to investigate the activity of the medial olivocochlear (MOC) efferents during contralateral (CAS) and ipsilateral acoustic stimulation (IAS) by recording distortion product otoacoustic emission (DPOAE) suppression and DPOAE adaptation in humans. The main question was: do large bipolar changes in DPOAE level (transition from enhancement to suppression) also occur in humans when changing the primary tone level within a small range as described by Maison and Liberman for guinea pigs [J. Neurosci.20, 4701–4707 (2000)]? In the present study, large bipolar changes in DPOAE level ( on average across subjects) were found during CAS predominantly at frequencies where dips in the DPOAE fine structure occurred. Thus, effects of the second DPOAE source might be responsible for the observed bipolar effect. In contrast, comparable effects were not found during IAS as was reported in guinea pigs. Reproducibility of CAS DPOAEs was better than that for IAS DPOAEs. Thus, contralateral DPOAE suppression is suggested to be superior to ipsilateral DPOAE adaptation with regard to measuring the MOC reflex strength and for evaluating the vulnerability of the cochlea to acoustic overexposure in a clinical context.