Revisiting gender, race, and ear differences in peripheral auditory function

Sriram Boothalingam, Niall A.M. Klyn, Samantha M. Stiepan, Uzma S. Wilson, Jungwha Lee, Jonathan H. Siegel, Sumitrajit Dhar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Various measures of auditory function are reported to be superior in females as compared to males, in African American compared to Caucasian individuals, and in right compared to left ears. We re-examined the influence of these subject variables on hearing thresholds and otoacoustic emissions (OAEs) in a sample of 887 human participants between 10 and 68 years of age. Even though the variables of interest here have been examined before, previous attempts have largely been limited to frequencies up to 8 kHz. We used state-of-The-Art signal delivery and recording techniques that compensated for individual differences in ear canal acoustics, allowing us to measure hearing thresholds and OAEs up to 20 kHz. The use of these modern calibration and recording techniques provided the motivation for re-examining these commonly studied variables. While controlling for age, noise exposure history, and general health history, we attempted to isolate the effects of gender, race, and ear (left versus right) on hearing thresholds and OAEs. Our results challenge the notion of a right ear advantage and question the existence of a significant gender and race differences in both hearing thresholds and OAE levels. These results suggest that ear canal anatomy and acoustics should be important considerations when evaluating the influence of gender, race, and ear on peripheral auditory function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTo the Ear and Back Again - Advances in Auditory Biophysics
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 13th Mechanics of Hearing Workshop
EditorsChristopher Bergevin, Sunil Puria
PublisherAmerican Institute of Physics Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9780735416703
DOIs
StatePublished - May 31 2018
Event13th Mechanics of Hearing Workshop: To the Ear and Back Again - Advances in Auditory Biophysics, MoH 2017 - St. Catharines, Canada
Duration: Jun 19 2017Jun 24 2017

Publication series

NameAIP Conference Proceedings
Volume1965
ISSN (Print)0094-243X
ISSN (Electronic)1551-7616

Other

Other13th Mechanics of Hearing Workshop: To the Ear and Back Again - Advances in Auditory Biophysics, MoH 2017
CountryCanada
CitySt. Catharines
Period6/19/176/24/17

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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    Boothalingam, S., Klyn, N. A. M., Stiepan, S. M., Wilson, U. S., Lee, J., Siegel, J. H., & Dhar, S. (2018). Revisiting gender, race, and ear differences in peripheral auditory function. In C. Bergevin, & S. Puria (Eds.), To the Ear and Back Again - Advances in Auditory Biophysics: Proceedings of the 13th Mechanics of Hearing Workshop [090007] (AIP Conference Proceedings; Vol. 1965). American Institute of Physics Inc.. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5038496