Distortion product otoacoustic emission phase and component analysis in human newborns

Carolina Abdala*, Sumitrajit Dhar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Apical distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs) are comprised of at least two components, as evidenced by the interference pattern of alternating maxima and minima known as fine structure. DPOAE fine structure is produced by the shifting phase relationship in the ear canal, between the generator and characteristic frequency (CF) component of the response. Each component arises from a different cochlear region and, according to theory, reflects a distinct generation mechanism. The analysis of DPOAE components and phase in newborns may provide a window into targeted aspects of cochlear physiology during development. 2 f1 - f2 DPOAE fine structure was recorded from 15 adults and 14 newborns using a swept-tone technique. DPOAE group delay, as well as magnitude and phase of each component, was compared between age groups. Results show narrower fine structure spacing, a longer group delay (steeper phase gradient) in low frequencies, and a stronger relative contribution from the CF component in newborns. The prolonged group delay for low-frequency DPOAEs could indicate immature basilar membrane motion in the apex of the cochlea and warrants further investigation. The enhanced contribution from the CF component may have implications for clinical practice as well as for theories of cochlear maturation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)316-325
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


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