Volume 130, Issue 6, December 2011
Index of content:
- PHYSIOLOGICAL ACOUSTICS 
130(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.3651822View Description Hide Description
Coupling of somatic electromechanical force from the outer hair cells (OHCs) into the organ of Corti is investigated by measuring transverse vibration patterns of the organ of Cori and tectorial membrane (TM) in response to intracochlear electrical stimulation. Measurement places at the organ of Corti extend from the inner sulcus cells to Hensen’s cells and at the lower (and upper) surface of the TM from the inner sulcus to the OHC region. These locations are in the neighborhood of where electromechanical force is coupled into (1) the mechanoelectrical transducers of the stereocilia and (2) fluids of the organ of Corti. Experiments are conducted in the first, second, and third cochlear turns of an in vitro preparation of the adult guinea pig cochlea. Vibration measurements are made at functionally relevant stimulus frequencies (0.48–68 kHz) and response amplitudes (<15 nm). The experiments provide phase relations between the different structures, which, dependent on frequency range and longitudinal cochlear position, include in-phase transverse motions of the TM, counterphasic transverse motions between the inner hair cell and OHCs, as well as traveling-wave motion of Hensen’s cells in the radial direction. Mechanics of sound processing in the cochlea are discussed based on these phase relationships.
130(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.3654019View Description Hide Description
A number of acoustical applications require the transformation of acoustical quantities, such as impedance and pressure that are measured at the entrance of the ear canal, to quantities at the eardrum. This transformation often requires knowledge of the shape of the ear canal. Previous attempts to measure ear-canal area functions were either invasive, non-reproducible, or could only measure the area function up to a point mid-way along the canal. A method to determine the area function of the ear canal from measurements of acoustic impedance at the entrance of the ear canal is described. The method is based on a solution to the inverse problem in which measurements of impedance are used to calculate reflectance, which is then used to determine the area function of the canal. The mean ear-canal area function determined using this method is similar to mean ear-canal area functions measured by other researchers using different techniques. The advantage of the proposed method over previous methods is that it is non- invasive, fast, and reproducible.
130(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.3655878View Description Hide Description
Quantifying ear-canal sound level in forward pressure has been suggested as a more accurate and practical alternative to sound pressure level (SPL)calibrations used in clinical settings. The mathematical isolation of forward (and reverse) pressure requires defining the Thévenin-equivalent impedance and pressure of the sound source and characteristic impedance of the load; however, the extent to which inaccuracies in characterizing the source and/or load impact forward pressure level (FPL) calibrations has not been specifically evaluated. This study examined how commercially available probe tips and estimates of characteristic impedance impact the calculation of forward and reverse pressure in a number of test cavities with dimensions chosen to reflect human ear-canal dimensions. Results demonstrate that FPL calibration, which has already been shown to be more accurate than in situSPLcalibration, can be improved particularly around standing-wave null frequencies by refining estimates of characteristic impedance. Better estimates allow FPL to be accurately calculated at least through 10 kHz using a variety of probe tips in test cavities of different sizes, suggesting that FPL calibration can be performed in ear canals of all sizes. Additionally, FPL calibration appears a reasonable option when quantifying the levels of extended high-frequency (10–18 kHz) stimuli.