It is widely assumed that the distortion characteristics of the cochlea are uniform across its length, or at least across some portion of its length. For each distortion product otoacoustic emission (DPOAE) input/output (I/O) function across frequency, there is a corresponding cochlear I/O function defined over the cochlear source region. An assumption of distortion invariance is adopted such that these cochlear I/O functions are identical across tonotopic place, which is testable in the sense that a single nonlinear function should adequately describe the set of DPOAE I/O functions across frequency. If so, the differences in measured DPOAE I/O functions across frequency are produced by differences in the forward stimulus transmission to the generation site, and reverse DP transmission back to the ear canal. The absolute transfer-function magnitude is not determined by this technique, but the spectral shapes across frequency and between ears are determined. The role of middle-ear functioning is implicit in the I/O functions because of its controlling influence on these transfer functions. Results have been obtained using the average DPOAE I/O functions measured in a population of healthy ears [Gorga et al., J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 107, 2128-2135 (2000)], and support the hypothesis of cochlear-distortion invariance. The measured forward and reverse transfer functions have a general bandpass characteristic, and a more narrow-band structure with similarities to the behavioral threshold curve.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics