Volume 125, Issue 4, April 2009
Index of content:
- PHYSIOLOGICAL ACOUSTICS 
Estimating the operating point of the cochlear transducer using low-frequency biased distortion products125(2009); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.3083228View Description Hide Description
Distortion products in the cochlear microphonic (CM) and in the ear canal in the form of distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs) are generated by nonlinear transduction in the cochlea and are related to the resting position of the organ of Corti (OC). A 4.8 Hz acoustic bias tone was used to displace the OC, while the relative amplitude and phase of distortion products evoked by a single tone [most often 500 Hz, 90 dB SPL(sound pressure level)] or two simultaneously presented tones (most often 4 kHz and 4.8 kHz, 80 dB SPL) were monitored. Electrical responses recorded from the round window, scala tympani and scala media of the basal turn, and acoustic emissions in the ear canal were simultaneously measured and compared during the bias. Bias-induced changes in the distortion products were similar to those predicted from computer models of a saturating transducer with a first-order Boltzmann distribution. Our results suggest that biased DPOAEs can be used to non-invasively estimate the OC displacement, producing a measurement equivalent to the transducer operating point obtained via Boltzmann analysis of the basal turn CM. Low-frequency biased DPOAEs might provide a diagnostic tool to objectively diagnose abnormal displacements of the OC, as might occur with endolymphatic hydrops.
125(2009); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.3083240View Description Hide Description
Measurements of distortion-product (DP) waves inside the cochlea have led to a conception of wave propagation that is at variance with the “classical” attitude. Of the several alternatives that have been proposed to remedy this situation, the feed-forward model could be a promising one. This paper describes a method to apply the inverse solution with the aim to attain a feed-forward model that accurately reproduces a measured response. It is demonstrated that the computation method is highly successful. Subsequently, it is shown that in a feed-forward model a DP wave generated by a two-tone stimulus is almost exclusively a forward-traveling wave which property agrees with the nature of the experimental findings. However, the amplitude of the computed DP wave is only substantial in the region where the stimulation patterns of the two primary tones overlap. In addition, the model developed cannot explain coherent reflection for single tones. It has been suggested that a forward transversal DP wave induced by a (retrograde) compression wave could be involved in DP wave generation. This topic is critically evaluated.