The effect of stimulus-frequency ratio on distortion product otoacoustic emission components

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

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


A detailed measurement of distortion product otoacoustic emission (DPOAE) fine structure was used to extract estimates of the two major components believed to contribute to the overall DPOAE level in the ear canal. A fixed-ratio paradigm was used to record DPOAE fine structure from three normal-hearing ears over a range of 400 Hz for 12 different stimulus-frequency ratios between 1.053 and 1.36 and stimulus levels between 45 and 75 dB SPL. Inverse Fourier transforms of the amplitude and phase data were filtered to extract the early component from the generator region of maximum stimulus overlap and the later component reflected from the characteristic frequency region of the DPOAE. After filtering, the data were returned to the frequency domain to evaluate the impact of the stimulus-frequency ratio and stimulus level on the relative levels of the components. Although there were significant differences between data from different ears some consistent patterns could be detected. The component from the overlap region of the stimulus tones exhibits a bandpass shape, with the maximum occurring at a ratio of 1.2. The mean data from the DPOAE characteristic frequency region also exhibits a bandpass shape but is less sharply tuned and exhibits greater variety across ears and stimulus levels. The component from the DPOAE characteristic frequency region is dominant at ratios narrower than approximately 1.1 (the transition varies between ears). The relative levels of the two components are highly variable at ratios greater than 1.3 and highly dependent on the stimulus level. The reflection component is larger at all ratios at the lowest stimulus level tested (45/45 dB SPL). We discuss the factors shaping DPOAE-component behavior and some cursory implications for the choice of stimulus parameters to be used in clinical protocols.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3766-3776
Number of pages11
Journaljournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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