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

4pAB1. Otoacoustic emissions in animals: An intricate view of the peripheral stage of acoustic processing.

Brenda L. Lonsbury-Martin

Glen K. Martin

Martin L. Whitehead

Univ. of Miami Ear Inst. M805), P.O. Box 016960, Miami, FL 33101

Otoacoustic emissions (OAEs) represent sounds generated by the ear that can be simply measured from the ear canal. In particular, OAEs provide a means to examine in detail the encoding properties of the outer hair-cell system, which presumably generates emitted responses. Animal research using emissions as a response measure consists of four general classes of utilization including the use of OAEs: (1) to describe the basic limits of auditory function for a particular species, (2) to monitor or index cochlear function during experimental manipulations of the auditory system, (3) to enhance understanding of the fundamental nature of the various emissions, and (4) to further knowledge about the physical basis of certain afflictions that affect human hearing using animal models of specific pathologies. The purpose of this presentation will be to provide an overview of OAEs including their essential basis, to review the equipment and procedures used to adequately detect this response measure, and to present examples of the unique applications of emission measurements in animals. By reviewing these many aspects of OAEs, the great benefits along with the limitations inherent to this attractive research technique can be appreciated. [Work supported by PHS (DC01668, ES03500).]