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Efferent-mediated reduction in cochlear gain does not alter tuning estimates from stimulus-frequency otoacoustic emission group delays
Neuroscience Letters (2014)
  • Shaum P. Bhagat, University of Memphis
  • Chelsea Kilgore, University of Memphis
The existence of efferent feedback from cortical and subcortical brain centers to the hair cells of the cochlea has been recognized for many years, but the role that efferent neurons play in hearing is not completely known. Stimulation of medial olivocochlear (MOC) efferent neurons suppresses sound-evoked basilar membrane responses and changes the tuning of single auditory nerve fibers in animal models. Both of these effects are linked to a MOC-induced reduction in the gain of the cochlear amplification provided by outer hair cells. To non-invasively examine the link between cochlear suppression and tuning in humans, stimulus-frequency otoacoustic emissions (SFOAEs) were recorded in conditions with and without contralateral acoustic stimulation (CAS) from 28 normal-hearing participants. SFOAEs were measured using clusters of closely-spaced probe-tone frequencies centered near 1.4 and 2.0 kHz. An index of cochlear tuning, QERB, was calculated based on measures of SFOAE group delay at both 1.4 and 2.0 kHz. A statistically significant (p < 0.01) decrease in SFOAE levels acquired during CAS was detected only for the SFOAE cluster centered at 2 kHz. No statistically significant differences in QERB were found between conditions with and without CAS at 1.4 and 2.0 kHz. These findings suggest that in humans, tuning based on SFOAE group delay estimates is not appreciably altered at cochlear locations with MOC efferent-induced reductions in cochlear gain.
  • Cochlea,
  • Contralateral suppression,
  • Cochlear filters,
  • Humans,
  • Medial olivocochlear efferent neurons,
  • Otoacoustic emissions
Publication Date
January 24, 2014
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Citation Information
Shaum P. Bhagat and Chelsea Kilgore. "Efferent-mediated reduction in cochlear gain does not alter tuning estimates from stimulus-frequency otoacoustic emission group delays" Neuroscience Letters Vol. 559 (2014) p. 132 - 135 ISSN: 1872-7972
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