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Volume 121, Issue 4, April 2007
- PHYSIOLOGICAL ACOUSTICS 
121(2007); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.2435981View Description Hide Description
Otoacoustic emissions(OAEs) evoked by broadband clicks and by single tones are widely regarded as originating via different mechanisms within the cochlea. Whereas the properties of stimulus-frequency OAEs (SFOAEs) evoked by tones are consistent with an origin via linear mechanisms involving coherent wave scattering by preexisting perturbations in the mechanics, OAEs evoked by broadband clicks (CEOAEs) have been suggested to originate via nonlinear interactions among the different frequency components of the stimulus (e.g., intermodulation distortion). The experiments reported here test for bandwidth-dependent differences in mechanisms of OAEgeneration. Click-evoked and stimulus-frequency OAE input/output transfer functions were obtained and compared as a function of stimulus frequency and intensity. At low and moderate intensities human CEOAE and SFOAE transfer functions are nearly identical. When stimulus intensity is measured in “bandwidth-compensated” sound-pressure level (cSPL), CEOAE and SFOAE transfer functions have equivalent growth functions at fixed frequency and equivalent spectral characteristics at fixed intensity. This equivalence suggests that CEOAEs and SFOAEs are generated by the same mechanism. Although CEOAEs and SFOAEs are known by different names because of the different stimuli used to evoke them, the two OAE “types” are evidently best understood as members of the same emission family.