Distortion-product otoacoustic emission (DPOAE) input/output (I/O) functions were measured in 322 ears of 176 subjects at as many as 8 f(2) frequencies per ear for a total of 1779 I/O functions. The f(2) frequencies ranged from 0.7 to 8 kHz in half-octave steps. Behavioral thresholds (BTs) at the f(2) frequencies ranged from -5 to 60 dB hearing loss (HL). Both linear-pressure and nonlinear, two-slope functions were fitted to the data. The two-slope function describes I/O compression as output-controlled self-suppression. Most I/O functions (96%) were better fitted by the two-slope method. DPOAE thresholds based on each method were used to predict BTs. Compared to estimates based on linear-pressure functions, individual BTs predicted from DPOAE thresholds based on the two-slope model had lower residual error and accounted for more variance. Another advantage of the two-slope method is that it provides an estimate of response growth rate (RGR) that is not tied to threshold. At all frequencies, the median low-level RGR (across I/O functions of the same f(2) and BT) usually increased as BT increased, while high-level compression decreased. The observed characteristics of DPOAE I/O functions are consistent with the loss of cochlear compression that is typically associated with mild-to-moderate HL.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics