ASA 128th Meeting - Austin, Texas - 1994 Nov 28 .. Dec 02

3aPP5. Efferent adaptation and fatigue: The effect of contralateral noise on spontaneous otoacoustic emissions.

Gregory L. Dykstra

Dept. of Phychol., Mezes Hall 330, Univ. of Texas, Austin, TX 78712

Mott et al. [Hear. Res. 38, 229--242 (1989)] have shown that both frequency and amplitude of spontaneous otoacoustic emissions (SOAEs) can be modulated by contralateral acoustic stimulation. They also examined the effects of stimulus durations up to 4 min in search of long-term adaptation, but none was found. Because the driven rate of efferent fibers declines by only about one spike per second per minute [M. C. Liberman and M. C. Brown, Hear. Res. 24, 17--36 (1986)], longer durations might be necessary to observe efferent adaptation/fatigue. In the present study, SOAEs of three subjects were measured in the presence of contralateral narrow-band noises with various frequency characteristics and with durations of up to 60 min. The hypothesized effect---an initial decline in SOAEs amplitude under contralateral stimulation followed by a return to preexposure levels with the onset of efferent adaptation---was not consistently observed. While seen in some sessions for some subjects, it could not be brought under experimental control. Thus these results were in approximate agreement with the findings of Mott et al. Some methodological and functional implications of these findings will be discussed. [Work supported by a NIDCD grant to D. McFadden.]