Volume 129, Issue 3, March 2011
Index of content:
- PHYSIOLOGICAL ACOUSTICS 
129(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.3531930View Description Hide Description
The click-evoked otoacoustic emission (CEOAE) level-curve grows linearly for clicks below 40–60 dB and saturates for higher inputs. This study investigates dynamic (i.e., time-dependent) features of the CEOAE level-curve by presenting a suppressor-click less than 8 ms before the test-click. An alteration of the CEOAE level-curve, designated here as temporal suppression, was observed within this time period, and was shown to depend on the levels and the temporal separation of the two clicks. Temporal suppression occurred for all four subjects tested, and resulted in a vertical offset from the unsuppressed level-curve for test-click levels greater than 50 dB peak-equivalent level (peSPL). Temporal suppression was greatest for suppressors presented 1–4 ms before the test click, and the magnitude and time scale of the effect were subject dependent. Temporal suppression was furthermore observed for the short- (i.e., 6–18 ms) and long-latency (i.e., 24–36 ms) regions of the CEOAE, indicating that temporal suppression similarly affects synchronized spontaneous otoacoustic emissions (SSOAEs) and purely evoked CEOAE components. Overall, this study demonstrates that temporal suppression of the CEOAE level-curve reflects a dynamic process in human cochlear processing that works on a time scale of 0–10 ms.
129(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.3552872View Description Hide Description
Transient evoked otoacoustic emissions (TEOAEs) are usually evoked with air conduction (AC) stimuli. Only a few reports exist about OAEs where stimuli have been delivered using bone conduction (BC) by placing a bone conductor on the forehead or the mastoid. The aims of the present study were to improve the test performance of BC-TEOAEs by using a nonlinear stimulation protocol and to find out, whether this technique can be applied in newborn hearing screening. BC-TEOAEs were measured binaurally in ten normal hearing adults and in ten infants. For measurements in infants, miniaturized probes without loudspeakers were constructed to allow a complete insertion of the probe in the infant’s ear canal. It could be shown that robust and valid BC-TEOAEs can be elicited using a nonlinear stimulation protocol. Findings in adults indicated that BC-TEOAEs can be measured with properties similar to AC-TEOAEs. However, mean BC-TEOAE levels were reduced by 0.8–3.7 dB depending on frequency. In view of test time, this is compensated by performing binaural recordings. Measurements in infants indicated that the screening performance of BC-TEOAEs and AC-TEOAEs may be comparable. Further studies have to investigate, whether BC-TEOAEs are more robust than AC-TEOAEs against small conductive hearing loss.
Kurtosis corrected sound pressure level as a noise metric for risk assessment of occupational noises129(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.3533691View Description Hide Description
Current noise guidelines use an energy-based noise metric to predict the risk of hearing loss, and thus ignore the effect of temporal characteristics of the noise. The practice is widely considered to underestimate the risk of a complex noise environment, where impulsive noises are embedded in a steady-state noise. A basic form for noise metrics is designed by combining the equivalent sound pressure level (SPL) and a temporal correction term defined as a function of kurtosis of the noise. Several noise metrics are developed by varying this basic form and evaluated utilizing existing chinchilla noise exposure data. It is shown that the kurtosis correction term significantly improves the correlation of the noise metric with the measuredhearing losses in chinchillas. The average SPL of the frequency components of the noise that define the hearing loss with a kurtosis correction term is identified as the best noise metric among tested. One of the investigated metrics, the kurtosis-corrected A-weighted SPL, is applied to a human exposure study data as a preview of applying the metrics to human guidelines. The possibility of applying the noise metrics to human guidelines is discussed.