Thornton, A.R.D., Lineton, B., Baker, V.J. and Slaven, A.
Nonlinear properties of otoacoustic emissions in normal and impaired hearing
Hearing Research, 219, (1-2), . (doi:10.1016/j.heares.2006.05.010).
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Click-evoked otoacoustic emissions (CEOAEs) exhibit nonlinearities in amplitude and time domains. The first objective of this study was to investigate whether there is any correlation between the temporal and amplitude nonlinearities of CEOAEs in normals. Additionally there is evidence that pathology affects the normal cochlear nonlinearity. The second objective was to investigate whether pathology affects the temporal nonlinear components.
Conventional and maximum length sequence (MLS) CEOAEs were recorded in normal subjects and in patients with mild hearing loss. The slope of the input–output (I/O) function of the conventional CEOAE measured the amplitude nonlinearity. Two measures of temporal nonlinearity were the magnitude of the suppression that occurs with increase in stimulus rate and the amplitudes of the second and third order temporal interaction components (Volterra slices).
The amplitude nonlinearity is well correlated with both the magnitude of the rate suppression and the amplitudes of the Volterra slices. The ‘linear’ CEOAE amplitude showed no differences between the normal and patient groups but the differences in the Volterra slices were substantial. This suggests that the first sign of damage to the cochlea is that the system becomes more linear. Hence the Volterra slices may provide a sensitive measure of cochlear damage.
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