Evidence of upward spread of suppression in DPOAE measurements

Michael P. Gorga, Stephen T. Neely, Patricia A. Dorn, Darcia Dierking, Emily Cyr

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7 Scopus citations


Measurements of DPOAE level in the presence of a suppressor were used to describe a pattern that is qualitatively similar to population studies in the auditory nerve and to behavioral studies of upward spread of masking. DPOAEs were measured in the presence of a suppressor (f3) fixed at either 2.1 or 4.2 kHz, and set to each of seven levels (L3) from 20 to 80 dB SPL. In the presence of a fixed f3 and L3 combination, f2 was varied from about 1 oct below to at least 1/2 oct above f 3, while L2 was set to each of 6 values (20-70 dB SPL). L1 was set according to the equation L1 =0.4L 2+39 [Janssen et al., J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 103, 3418-3430 (1998)]. At each L2, L1 combination, DPOAE level was measured in a control condition in which no suppressor was presented. Data were converted into decrements (the amount of suppression, in dB) by subtracting the DPOAE level in the presence of each suppressor from the DPOAE level in the corresponding control condition. Plots of DPOAE decrements as a function of f2 showed maximum suppression when f2 ∼ f 3. As L3 increased, the suppressive effect spread more towards higher f2 frequencies, with less spread towards lower frequencies relative to f3. DPOAE decrement versus L3 functions had steeper slopes when f2 > f3, compared to the slopes when f2 < f3. These data are consistent with other findings that have shown that response growth for a characteristic place (CP) or frequency (CF) depends on the relation between CP or CF and driver frequency, with steeper slopes when driver frequency is less than CF and shallower slopes when driver frequency is greater than CF. For a fixed amount of suppression (3 dB), L3 and L2 varied nearly linearly for conditions in which f3 ∼f2, but grew more rapidly for conditions in which f3 < f2, reflecting the basal spread of excitation to the suppressor. The present data are similar in form to the results observed in population studies from the auditory nerve of lower animals and in behavioral masking studies in humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2910-2920
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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