331 research outputs found

    Characteristcs and mechanics of spontaneous otoacoustic emissions

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    Dit proefschrift beschrijft spontane otoakoestische emissies van mensen en kikkers. Met een gevoelige microfoon, aangesloten op een oor van b.v. een mens, kunnen in veel gevallen zachte fluittoontjes worden geregistreerd. De frequenties van deze spontane otoakoestische emissies liggen doorgaans tussen de 1 en 3 kHz, terwijl het geluidsniveau van emissies rond de gehoordrempel ligt. De meest gangbare opvatting over het ontstaan van een emissie is, dat deze gegenereerd wordt door een actief auditief fllter. Instabiliteit van een dergelijk filter zou de oorzaak zijn van een mechanische oscillatie in het binnenoor, die een akoestische emissie in de gehoorgang tot gevolg heeft. ... Zie: Samenvattin

    Frequency selectivity of the human cochlea:Suppression tuning of spontaneous otoacoustic emissions

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    AbstractFrequency selectivity is a key functional property of the inner ear and since hearing research began, the frequency resolution of the human ear has been a central question. In contrast to animal studies, which permit invasive recording of neural activity, human studies must rely on indirect methods to determine hearing selectivity. Psychophysical studies, which used masking of a tone by other sounds, indicate a modest frequency selectivity in humans. By contrast, estimates using the phase delays of stimulus-frequency otoacoustic emissions (SFOAE) predict a remarkably high selectivity, unique among mammals. An alternative measure of cochlear frequency selectivity are suppression tuning curves of spontaneous otoacoustic emissions (SOAE). Several animal studies show that these measures are in excellent agreement with neural frequency selectivity. Here we contribute a large data set from normal-hearing young humans on suppression tuning curves (STC) of spontaneous otoacoustic emissions (SOAE). The frequency selectivities of human STC measured near threshold levels agree with the earlier, much lower, psychophysical estimates. They differ, however, from the typical patterns seen in animal auditory nerve data in that the selectivity is remarkably independent of frequency. In addition, SOAE are suppressed by higher-level tones in narrow frequency bands clearly above the main suppression frequencies. These narrow suppression bands suggest interactions between the suppressor tone and a cochlear standing wave corresponding to the SOAE frequency being suppressed. The data show that the relationship between pre-neural mechanical processing in the cochlea and neural coding at the hair-cell/auditory nerve synapse needs to be reconsidered

    The cerebellar (para)flocculus:A review on its auditory function and a possible role in tinnitus

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    The cerebellum is historically considered to be involved in motor control and motor learning. However, it is also a site of multimodal sensory and sensory-motor integration, implicated in auditory processing. The flocculus and paraflocculus are small lobes of the cerebellum, in humans located in the cerebellopontine angle. The last two decades, both structures have been a subject of interest in hearing loss and tinnitus research. The current review summarizes insights on the auditory function of the (para)flocculus and its contribution to hearing loss and tinnitus. This leads to the hypothesis of a feedback loop between the paraflocculus and the auditory cortex. Disruption of this loop may be instrumental in both maintaining tinnitus and reducing tinnitus. Although the research mostly has been performed in animals, the implications in humans are also discussed. If the (para)flocculus indeed comprises an auditory function and is part of a tinnitus-mechanism, this would potentially open up new treatment options that involve direct intervention at the (para)flocculus

    Macrostructural Changes of the Acoustic Radiation in Humans with Hearing Loss and Tinnitus Revealed with Fixel-Based Analysis

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    Age-related hearing loss is the most prevalent sensory impairment in the older adult population and is related to noise-induced damage or age-related deterioration of the peripheral auditory system. Hearing loss may affect the central auditory pathway in the brain, which is a continuation of the peripheral auditory system located in the ear. A debilitating symptom that frequently co-occurs with hearing loss is tinnitus. Strikingly, investigations into the impact of acquired hearing loss, with and without tinnitus, on the human central auditory pathway are sparse. This study used diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) to investigate changes in the largest central auditory tract, the acoustic radiation, related to hearing loss and tinnitus. Participants with hearing loss, with and without tinnitus, and a control group were included. Both conventional diffusion tensor analysis and higher-order fixel-based analysis were applied. The fixel-based analysis was used as a novel framework providing insight into the axonal density and macrostructural morphologic changes of the acoustic radiation in hearing loss and tinnitus. The results show tinnitus-related atrophy of the left acoustic radiation near the medial geniculate body. This finding may reflect a decrease in myelination of the auditory pathway, instigated by more profound peripheral deafferentation or reflecting a preexisting marker of tinnitus vulnerability. Furthermore, age was negatively correlated with the axonal density in the bilateral acoustic radiation. This loss of fiber density with age may contribute to poorer speech understanding observed in older adults. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Age-related hearing loss is the most prevalent sensory impairment in the older adult population. Older individuals are subject to the cumulative effects of aging and noise exposure on the auditory system. A debilitating symptom that frequently co-occurs with hearing loss is tinnitus: the perception of a phantom sound. In this large DWI-study, we provide evidence that in hearing loss, the additional presence of tinnitus is related to degradation of the acoustic radiation. Additionally, older age was related to axonal loss in the acoustic radiation. It appears that older adults have the aggravating circumstances of age, hearing loss, and tinnitus on central auditory processing, which may partly be because of the observed deterioration of the acoustic radiation with age
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