In-depth investigation of frequency-dependence of nonlinearity in human cochlea using DPOAE

Hwa J. Son*, Sumitrajit Dhar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Debate about whether the cochlear amplifier is more influential at the base of the cochlea as compared to the apex is ongoing. Greater nonlinearity at higher frequencies is an expected outcome of this increasing nonlinearity. Direct measurements of cochlear mechanics and auditory nerve activity in laboratory animals and psychophysical measures in humans have yielded conflicting results to date. Distortion product otoacoustic emission (DPOAE) input output functions (I/O function) offer a noninvasive assay to probe this question in human subjects. Two past studies using DPOAE I/O functions in human subjects have revealed increasing nonlinearity with increasing frequency. These results were limited in the frequency and input stimulus range explored. Employing hardware with reduced system distortion at high frequencies and high levels along with an improved calibration technique, our study extended these findings further in frequency and compared DPOAE I/O functions at multiple frequencies between 0.5 and 14 kHz up to input levels of 95 dB SPL.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberS334
Pages (from-to)1-1
Number of pages1
Issue numberSUPPL. 5
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


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