Effects of middle-ear immaturity on distortion product otoacoustic emission suppression tuning in infant ears

Carolina Abdala, Douglas H Keefe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Distortion product otoacoustic emission (DPOAE) measures of cochlear function, including DPOAE suppression tuning curves and input/output (I/O) functions, are not adultlike in human infants. These findings suggest the cochlear amplifier might be functionally immature in newborns. However, many noncochlear factors influence DPOAEs and must be considered. This study examines whether age differences in DPOAE I/O functions recorded from infant and adult ears reflect maturation of ear-canal/middle-ear function or cochlear mechanics. A model based on linear middle-ear transmission and nonlinear cochlear generation was developed to fit the adult DPOAE I/O data. By varying only those model parameters related to middle-ear transmission (and holding cochlear parameters at adult values), the model successfully fitted I/O data from infants at birth through age 6 months. This suggests that cochlear mechanics are mature at birth. The model predicted an attenuation of stimulus energy through the immature ear canal and middle ear, and evaluated whether immaturities in forward transmission could explain the differences consistently observed between infant and adult DPOAE suppression. Results show that once the immaturity was compensated for by providing infants with a relative increase in primary tone level, DPOAE suppression tuning at f2=6000 Hz was similar in adults and infants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3832-3842
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Volume120
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 14 2006

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middle ear
ear
tuning
retarding
products
canals
output
stimuli
Ear
Middle Ear
Suppression
Tuning
amplifiers
attenuation
curves

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics

Cite this

Effects of middle-ear immaturity on distortion product otoacoustic emission suppression tuning in infant ears. / Abdala, Carolina; Keefe, Douglas H.

In: Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, Vol. 120, No. 6, 14.12.2006, p. 3832-3842.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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