The effect of contralateral acoustic stimulation on spontaneous otoacoustic emissions

Wei Zhao*, Sumitrajit Dhar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Evoked otoacoustic emissions are often used to study the medial olivocochlear (MOC) efferents in humans. There has been concern that the emission-evoking stimulus may itself elicit efferent activity and alter the evoked otoacoustic emission. Spontaneous otoacoustic emissions (SOAEs) are hence advantageous as no external stimulation is necessary to record the response in the test ear. Contralateral acoustic stimulation (CAS) has been shown to suppress SOAE level and elevate SOAE frequency, but the time course of these effects is largely unknown. By utilizing the Choi-Williams distribution, here we report a gradual adaptation during the presence of CAS and an overshoot following CAS offset in both SOAE magnitude and frequency from six normal-hearing female human subjects. Furthermore, we have quantified the time constants of both magnitude and frequency shifts at the onset, presence, and offset of four levels of CAS. Most studies using contralateral elicitors do not stringently control the middle-ear muscle (MEM) reflex, leaving the results difficult to interpret. In addition to clinically available measures of the MEM reflex, we have incorporated a sensitive laboratory technique to monitor the MEM reflex in our subjects, allowing us to interpret the results with greater confidence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-67
Number of pages15
JournalJARO - Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2010


  • Cochlear physiology
  • Medial olivocochlear efferents
  • Middle-ear muscle reflex
  • Spontaneous otoacoustic emissions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Sensory Systems


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