Distortion product otoacoustic emission input/output functions in normal-hearing and hearing-impaired human ears

P. A. Dorn, D. Konrad-Martin, S. T. Neely, D. H. Keefe, E. Cyr, M. P. Gorga

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98 Scopus citations


DPOAE input/output (I/O) functions were measured at 7f2 frequencies (1 to 8 kHz; f2/f1 = 1.22) over a range of levels (-5 to 95 dB SPL) in normal-hearing and hearing-impaired human ears. L1-L2 was level dependent in order to produce the largest 2 f1-f2 responses in normal ears. System distortion was determined by collecting DP data in six different acoustic cavities. These data were used to derive a multiple linear regression model to predict system distortion levels. The model was tested on cochlear-implant users and used to estimate system distortion in all other ears. At most but not all f2's, measurements in cochlear implant ears were consistent with model predictions. At all f2 frequencies, the ears with normal auditory thresholds produced I/O functions characterized by compressive nonlinear regions at moderate levels, with more rapid growth at low and high stimulus levels. As auditory threshold increased, DPOAE threshold increased, accompanied by DPOAE amplitude reductions, notably over the range of levels where normal ears showed compression. The slope of the I/O function was steeper in impaired ears. The data from normal-hearing ears resembled direct measurements of basilar membrane displacement in lower animals. Data from ears with hearing loss showed that the compressive region was affected by cochlear damage; however, responses at high levels of stimulation resembled those observed in normal ears.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3119-3131
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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