Ear canal acoustic distortion at 2f1 - f2 from human ears: Relation to other emissions and perceived combination tones

M. Furst, W. M. Rabinowitz, P. M. Zurek

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Abstract

Two aspects of the intermodulation distortion product at 2f1 -f2 generated by normal human ears and measured acoustically in the ear canal were studied: (1) its relation to tone-evoked and spontaneous otoacoustic emissions, and (2) its relation to the perceived combination tone at the same frequency. With regard to (1), substantial differences among ears in the detectability of emissions were observed; ears tended to exhibit all or none of the emission types that were sought. Within ears possessing emissions, the magnitudes of tone-evoked emissions and acoustic distortion showed a similar dependence on frequency. With regard to (2), a three-primary-tone stimulus was employed to ask whether the ear canal acoustic distortion tone is canceled under the same stimulus conditions that produce perceptual cancellation. Simultaneous cancellation of perceptual and acoustic distortion was produced rarely. Results are interpreted qualitatively with a model in which primary tones produce distortion at their interaction region within the cochlea; this distortion propagates to the distortion-frequency place where it mediates perception. This same distortion wave produces emission components at additional locations, including the primary-tone interaction region, which sum vectorially to mediate the emitted acoustic distortion product.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-221
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Volume84
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1988

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