Volume 133, Issue 4, April 2013
Index of content:
- PHYSIOLOGICAL ACOUSTICS 
133(2013); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.4792139View Description Hide Description
The middle-ear pressure gain GMEP , the ratio of sound pressure in the cochlear vestibule PV to sound pressure at the tympanic membrane PTM , is a descriptor of middle-ear sound transfer and the cochlear input for a given stimulus in the ear canal. GMEP and the cochlear partition differential pressure near the cochlear base ΔPCP , which determines the stimulus for cochlear partition motion and has been linked to hearing ability, were computed from simultaneous measurements of PV , PTM , and the sound pressure in scala tympani near the round window PST in chinchilla. GMEP magnitude was approximately 30 dB between 0.1 and 10 kHz and decreased sharply above 20 kHz, which is not consistent with an ideal transformer or a lossless transmission line. The GMEP phase was consistent with a roughly 50-μs delay between PV and PTM . GMEP was little affected by the inner-ear modifications necessary to measure PST . GMEP is a good predictor of ΔPCP at low and moderate frequencies where PV ⪢ PST but overestimates ΔPCP above a few kilohertz where PV ≈ PST . The ratio of PST to PV provides insight into the distribution of sound pressure within the cochlear scalae.
Basilar-membrane interference patterns from multiple internal reflection of cochlear traveling waves133(2013); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.4792129View Description Hide Description
At low stimulus levels, basilar-membrane (BM) mechanical transfer functions in sensitive cochleae manifest a quasiperiodic rippling pattern in both amplitude and phase. Analysis of the responses of active cochlear models suggests that the rippling is a mechanical interference pattern created by multiple internal reflection within the cochlea. In models, the interference arises when reverse-traveling waves responsible for stimulus-frequency otoacoustic emissions (SFOAEs) reflect off the stapes on their way to the ear canal, launching a secondary forward-traveling wave that combines with the primary wave produced by the stimulus. Frequency-dependent phase differences between the two waves then create the rippling pattern measurable on the BM. Measurements of BM ripples and SFOAEs in individual chinchilla ears demonstrate that the ripples are strongly correlated with the acoustic interference pattern measured in ear-canal pressure, consistent with a common origin involving the generation of SFOAEs. In BM responses to clicks, the ripples appear as temporal fine structure in the response envelope (multiple lobes, waxing and waning). Analysis of the ripple spacing and response phase gradients provides a test for the role of fast- and slow-wave modes of reverse energy propagation within the cochlea. The data indicate that SFOAE delays are consistent with reverse slow-wave propagation but much too long to be explained by fast waves.
Input/output functions of different-latency components of transient-evoked and stimulus-frequency otoacoustic emissions133(2013); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.4794382View Description Hide Description
The input/output functions of the different-latency components of human transient-evoked and stimulus-frequency otoacoustic emissions are analyzed, with the goal of relating them to the underlying nonlinear dynamical properties of the basilar membrane response. Several cochlear models predict a cubic nonlinearity that would yield a correspondent compressive response. The otoacoustic response comes from different generation mechanisms, each characterized by a particular relation between local basilar membrane displacement and otoacoustic level. For the same mechanism (e.g., reflection from cochlear roughness), different generation places would imply differently compressive regimes of the local basilar membrane dynamics. Therefore, this kind of study requires disentangling these contributions, using suitable data acquisition and time-frequency analysis techniques. Fortunately, different generation mechanisms/places also imply different phase-gradient delays, knowledge of which can be used to perform this task. In this study, the different-latency otoacoustic components systematically show differently compressive response, consistent with two simple hypotheses: (1) all emissions come from the reflection mechanism and (2) the basilar membrane response is strongly compressive in the resonance region and closer to linear in more basal regions. It is not clear if such a compressive behavior also extends to arbitrarily low stimulus levels.