Previous work has reported non-adultlike distortion product otoacoustic emission (DPOAE) suppression in human newborns at f2 = 6000 Hz, indicating an immaturity in peripheral auditory function. In this study, DPOAE suppression tuning curves (STCs) were recorded as a measure of cochlear function and acoustic admittance/reflectance (YR) in the ear canal recorded as a measure of middle-ear function, in the same 20 infants at birth and through 6 months of age. DPOAE STCs changed little from birth through 6 months, showing excessively narrow and sharp tuning throughout the test period. In contrast, several middle-ear indices at corresponding frequencies shifted systematically with increasing age, although they also remained non-adultlike at 6 months. Linear correlations were conducted between YR and DPOAE suppression features. Only two correlations out of 76 were significant, and all but three YR variables accounted for <10% of the variance in DPOAE suppression tuning. The strongest correlation was noted between admittance phase at 5700 Hz and STC tip-to-tail (R=0.49). The association between middle-ear variables and DPOAE suppression may be stronger during other developmental time periods. Study of older infants and children is needed to fully define postnatal immaturity of human peripheral auditory function.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics