External and middle ear influence on envelope following responses

Sriram Boothalingam, Vijayalakshmi Easwar, Abigail Bross

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Considerable between-subject variability in envelope following response (EFR) amplitude limits its clinical translation. Based on a pattern of lower amplitude and larger variability in the low (<1.2 kHz) and high (>8 kHz), relative to mid (1-3 kHz) frequency carriers, we hypothesized that the between-subject variability in external and middle ear (EM) contribute to between-subject variability in EFR amplitude. It is predicted that equalizing the stimulus reaching the cochlea by accounting for EM differences using forward pressure level (FPL) calibration would at least partially improve response amplitude and reduce between-subject variability. In 21 young normal hearing adults, EFRs of four modulation rates (91, 96, 101, and 106 Hz) were measured concurrently from four frequency bands [low (0.091-1.2 kHz), mid (1-3 kHz), high (4-5.4 kHz), and very high (vHigh; 8-9.4 kHz)], respectively, with 12 harmonics each. The results indicate that FPL calibration in-ear and in a coupler leads to larger EFR amplitudes in the low and vHigh frequency bands relative to conventional coupler root-mean-square calibration. However, improvement in variability was modest with FPL calibration. This lack of a statistically significant improvement in variability suggests that the dominant source of variability in EFR amplitude may arise from cochlear and/or neural processing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2794-2803
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2022 Acoustical Society of America. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the Acoustical Society of America. The following article appeared in The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 152(5), 2794–2803, and may be found at https://doi.org/10.1121/10.0015004


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