Sound field estimation near the tympanic membrane using area-distance measurements in the ear canal

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The sound field near the tympanic membrane (TM) is estimated based on acoustic data measured at the tip of a probe inserted into the ear canal, from which the area-distance function of the ear canal is calculated. Such information has the potential to quantify the sound input to the middle ear at high frequencies. Spatial variation in the ear-canal cross-sectional area is described acoustically by quantifying forward and reverse sound waves between the probe tip and a near-TM location. A causal acoustic reflection function (RF) measured in the time domain at the probe tip is used to calculate area-distance functions of the ear canal. Area-distance functions are compared with plane-wave methods based on layer peeling and Ware-Aki algorithms. A time-domain model of viscothermal wall loss is devised and applied to ear-canal data, with area-distance functions compared between loss-less and lossy methods. This model is applicable to time-domain RF calibrations using measured data in short tubes. Specification of the near-TM sound field may benefit the interpretation of data from physiological tests such as otoacoustic emission and auditory brainstem responses and high-frequency behavioral tests such as extended audiometry and tests of spatial processing of sound.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1193-1214
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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