Distortion-product otoacoustic emission (DPOAE) fine structure and component characteristics are reported between 0.75 and 16 kHz in 356 clinically normal hearing human subjects ages 10 to 65 yr. Stimulus tones at 55/40, 65/55, and 75/75 dB SPL were delivered using custom designed drivers and a calibration method that compensated for the depth of insertion of the otoacoustic emission (OAE) probe in the ear canal. DPOAE fine structure depth and spacing were found to be consistent with previous reports with depth varying between 3 and 7 dB and average spacing ratios (f/Δf) between 15 and 25 depending on stimulus level and frequency. In general, fine structure depth increased with increasing frequency, likely due to a diminishing difference between DPOAE component levels. Fine structure spacing became wider with increasing age above 8 kHz. DPOAE components were extracted using the inverse fast Fourier transform method, adhering to a strict signal to noise ratio criterion for clearer interpretation. Component data from four age groups between 18 and 55 yr old were available for the stimulus levels of 75/75 dB SPL. The age groups could be differentiated with greater than 90% accuracy when using the level of the component presumed to originate from the DPOAE characteristic frequency place. This accuracy held even for frequencies at and below 4 kHz where the age groups exhibited similar average hearing thresholds.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics