Multiple internal reflections in the cochlea and their effect on DPOAE fine structure

Sumitrajit Dhar*, Carrick L. Talmadge, Glenis R. Long, Arnold Tubis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


In recent years, evidence has accumulated in support of a two-source model of distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs). According to such models DPOAEs recorded in the ear canal are associated with two separate sources of cochlear origin. It is the interference between the contributions from the two sources that gives rise to the DPOAE fine structure (a pseudoperiodic change in DPOAE level or group delay with frequency). Multiple internal reflections between the base of the cochlea (oval window) and the DP tonotopic place can add additional significant components for certain stimulus conditions and thus modify the DPOAE fine structure. DPOAEs, at frequency increments between 4 and 8 Hz, were recorded at fixed f2/f1 ratios of 1.053, 1.065, 1.08, 1.11, 1.14, 1.18, 1.22, 1.26, 1.30, 1.32, 1.34, and 1.36 from four subjects. The resulting patterns of DPOAE amplitude and group delay (the negative of the slope of phase) revealed several previously unreported patterns in addition to the commonly reported log sine variation with frequency. These observed "exotic" patterns are predicted in computational simulations when multiple internal reflections are included. An inverse FFT algorithm was used to convert DPOAE data from the frequency to the "time" domain. Comparison of data in the time and frequency domains confirmed the occurrence of these "exotic" patterns in conjunction with the presence of multiple internal reflections. Multiple internal reflections were observed more commonly for high primary ratios (f2/f1 ≥ 1.3). These results indicate that a full interpretation of the DPOAE level and phase (group delay) must include not only the two generation sources, but also multiple internal reflections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2882-2897
Number of pages16
Journaljournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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