Reliability of distortion-product otoacoustic emissions and their relation to loudness

Megan J. Thorson, Judy G. Kopun, Stephen T. Neely, Hongyang Tan, Michael P. Gorga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The reliability of distortion-product otoacoustic emission (DPOAE) measurements and their relation to loudness measurements was examined in 16 normal-hearing subjects and 58 subjects with hearing loss. The level of the distortion product (L d) was compared across two sessions and resulted in correlations that exceeded 0.90. The reliability of DPOAEs was less when parameters from nonlinear fits to the input/output (I/O) functions were compared across visits. Next, the relationship between DPOAE I/O parameters and the slope of the low-level portion of the categorical loudness scaling (CLS) function (soft slope) was assessed. Correlations of 0.65, 0.74, and 0.81 at 1, 2, and 4 kHz were observed between CLS soft slope and combined DPOAE parameters. Behavioral threshold had correlations of 0.82, 0.83, and 0.88 at 1, 2, and 4 kHz with CLS soft slope. Combining DPOAEs and behavioral threshold provided little additional information. Lastly, a multivariate approach utilizing the entire DPOAE I/O function was used to predict the CLS rating for each input level (dB SPL). Standard error of the estimate when using this method ranged from 2.4 to 3.0 categorical units (CU), suggesting that DPOAE I/O functions can predict CLS measures within the CU step size used in this study (5).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1282-1295
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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