Delays of stimulus-frequency otoacoustic emissions and cochlear vibrations contradict the theory of coherent reflection filtering

Jonathan H. Siegel, Amanda J. Cerka, Alberto Recio-Spinoso, Andrei N. Temchin, Pim Van Dijk, Mario A. Ruggero*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

111 Scopus citations

Abstract

When stimulated by tones, the ear appears to emit tones of its own, stimulus-frequency otoacoustic emissions (SFOAEs). SFOAEs were measured in 17 chinchillas and their group delays were compared with a place map of basilar-membrane vibration group delays measured at the characteristic frequency. The map is based on Wiener-kernel analysis of responses to noise of auditory-nerve fibers corroborated by measurements of vibrations at several basilar-membrane sites. SFOAE group delays were similar to, or shorter than, basilar-membrane group delays for frequencies >4 kHz and <4 kHz, respectively. Such short delays contradict the generally accepted "theory of coherent reflection filtering" [Zweig and Shera, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 98, 2018-2047 (1995)], which predicts that the group delays of SFOAEs evoked by low-level tones approximately equal twice the basilar-membrane group delays. The results for frequencies higher than 4 kHz are compatible with hypotheses of SFOAE propagation to the stapes via acoustic waves or fluid coupling, or via reverse basilar membrane traveling waves with speeds corresponding to the signal-front delays, rather than the group delays, of the forward waves. The results for frequencies lower than 4 kHz cannot be explained by hypotheses based on waves propagating to and from their characteristic places in the cochlea.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2434-2443
Number of pages10
Journaljournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Volume118
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics

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