Relationship between behavioral and stimulus frequency otoacoustic emissions delay-based tuning estimates

Uzma Shaheen Wilson*, Jenna Browning-Kamins, Sriram Boothalingam, Arturo Moleti, Renata Sisto, Sumitrajit Dhar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose: The phase delay of stimulus frequency otoacoustic emissions (SFOAEs) has been proposed as a noninvasive, objective, and fast source for estimating cochlear mechanical tuning. However, the implementation of SFOAEs clinically has been thwarted by the gaps in understanding of the stability of SFOAE delay-based tuning estimates and their relationship to behavioral measures of tuning. Therefore, the goals of this study were (a) to investigate the relationship between delay-based tuning estimates from SFOAEs and simultaneously masked psychophysical tuning curves (PTCs) and (b) to assess the across-and within-session repeatability of tuning estimates from behavioral and OAE measures. Method: Three sets of behavioral and OAE measurements were collected in 24 normal-hearing, young adults for two probe frequencies, 1 and 4 kHz. For each participant, delay-based tuning estimates were derived from the phase gradient of SFOAEs. SFOAE-based and behavioral estimates of tuning obtained using the fast-swept PTC paradigm were compared within and across sessions. Results: In general, tuning estimates were sharper at 4 kHz compared to 1 kHz for both PTCs and SFOAEs. Statistical analyses revealed a significant correlation between SFOAE delay-based tuning and PTCs at 4 kHz, but not 1 kHz. Lastly, SFOAE delay-based tuning estimates showed better intra-and intersession repeatability compared to PTCs. Conclusions: SFOAE phase-gradient delays reflect aspects of cochlear mechanical tuning, in that a frequency dependence similar to that of basilar membrane tuning was observed. Furthermore, the significant correlation with PTCs at 4 kHz and the high repeatability of SFOAE-based tuning measures offer promise of an objective, nonbehavioral assay of tuning in human ears.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1958-1968
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Speech and Hearing
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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