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Relation between Spectral Composition of Spontaneous Oto-acoustic Emissions and Fine-structure of Threshold in Quiet

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The spectral analysis of the sound pressure in the closed earcanal, confirmed the existence of narrowband spontaneous oto-acoustic emissions. If several emissions are obtained from one ear, their minimum frequency separation is typically about 100 Hz. A similar frequency pattern is found in the microstructure of the frequency dependence of the pure tone threshold in quiet (audiogram). This means that narrow band dips of between 3 and 15 dB can be observed in the sound pressure at threshold in quiet for small changes in frequency. The frequency separation between neighbouring sound pressure level minima of the threshold in quiet is also usually approximately 100 Hz. Where spontaneous oto-acoustic emissions were observed, their frequencies were without exception very close (± 10 Hz) to the local sound pressure level minima of the threshold in quiet (i.e. near frequencies of maximum sensitivity). However, it was not possible to prove the existence of a spontaneous oto-acoustic emission at each frequency corresponding to a threshold minimum.


Die spektrale Analyse des Schalldrucks im geschlossenen Ohrkanal legt die Existenz schmal-bandiger spontaner oto-akustischer Emissionen nahe. Betrachtet man verschiedene Emissionen eines Ohres, liegt ihr minimaler Frequenzabstand typischerweise bei etwa 100 Hz. Ein ähnliches Frequenzmuster wird in der Mikrostruktur der Frequenzabhängigkeit der absoluten Hörschwelle für reine Töne (Audiogramm) festgestellt. Das bedeutet, daß bei kleinen Frequenzänderungen schmalbandige Einbrüche zwischen 3 und 15 dB im Schalldruck bei der absoluten Hörschwelle beobachtet werden können. Der Frequenzabstand zwischen benachbarten Schalldruckminima der absoluten Hörschwelle beträgt normalerweise ebenso etwa 100 Hz. Wo spontane oto-akusti-sche Emissionen beobachtet werden, liegen deren Frequenzen ohne Ausnahme sehr nahe (± 10Hz) bei den lokalen Schalldruckminima der absoluten Hörschwelle (d.h. nahe den Frequenzen der maximalen Empfindlichkeit). Es war jedoch nicht möglich, die Existenz spontaner oto-akustischer Emissionen bei jedem Hörschwellenminimum nachzuweisen.


L'analyse spectrale de la pression acoustique dans le conduit auditif clos confirme l'existence d'émissions oto-acoustiques spontanées à bande étroite. Quand une seule oreille fournit plusieurs de ces émissions, leur séparation fréquentielle est en général de l'ordre de 100 Hz. On observe une distribution similaire dans les variations, en fonction de la fréquence, du seuil d'audition dans le silence (audiogramme). Une telle microstructure fréquentielle signifie qu'on peut observer des creux de 3 à 15 dB dans l'audiogramme pour une légère variation de la fréquence du signal. La séparation fréquentielle entre deux minima voisins est généralement aussi de l'ordre de 100 Hz. A chaque fois qu'on a pu déceler des émissions oto-acoustiques, leurs fréquences étaient toujours très proches (à ± 10 Hz) des minima du seuil par rapport à la pression sonore locale, ce qui correspond à des maxima de la sensibilité auditive. Par contre il ne nous a pas été possible de prouver l'existence d'une émission oto-acoustique spontanée pour chaque fréquence correspondant à un minimum du seuil.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 1983

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  • Acta Acustica united with Acustica, published together with the European Acoustics Association (EAA), is an international, peer-reviewed journal on acoustics. It publishes original articles on all subjects in the field of acoustics, such as general linear acoustics, nonlinear acoustics, macrosonics, flow acoustics, atmospheric sound, underwater sound, ultrasonics, physical acoustics, structural acoustics, noise control, active control, environmental noise, building acoustics, room acoustics, acoustic materials, acoustic signal processing, computational and numerical acoustics, hearing, audiology and psychoacoustics, speech, musical acoustics, electroacoustics, auditory quality of systems. It reports on original scientific research in acoustics and on engineering applications. The journal considers scientific papers, technical and applied papers, book reviews, short communications, doctoral thesis abstracts, etc. In irregular intervals also special issues and review articles are published.
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