Human middle-ear model with compound eardrum and airway branching in mastoid air cells

Douglas H. Keefe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


An acoustical/mechanical model of normal adult human middle-ear function is described for forward and reverse transmission. The eardrum model included one component bound along the manubrium and another bound by the tympanic cleft. Eardrum components were coupled by a time-delayed impedance. The acoustics of the middle-ear cleft was represented by an acoustical transmission-line model for the tympanic cavity, aditus, antrum, and mastoid air cell system with variable amounts of excess viscothermal loss. Model parameters were fitted to published measurements of energy reflectance (0.25-13-kHz), equivalent input impedance at the eardrum (0.25-11-kHz), temporal-bone pressure in scala vestibuli and scala tympani (0.1-11-kHz), and reverse middle-ear impedance (0.25-8-kHz). Inner-ear fluid motion included cochlear and physiological third-window pathways. The two-component eardrum with time delay helped fit intracochlear pressure responses. A multi-modal representation of the eardrum and high-frequency modeling of the middle-ear cleft helped fit ear-canal responses. Input reactance at the eardrum was small at high frequencies due to multiple modal resonances. The model predicted the middle-ear efficiency between ear canal and cochlea, and the cochlear pressures at threshold.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2698-2725
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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