Adversarial relationship between combined medial olivocochlear (MOC) and middle-ear-muscle (MEM) reflexes and alarm-in-noise detection thresholds under negative signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs)

Buddhika KARUNARATHNE, Tingyi WANG, Richard H. Y. SO, Chi Shan KAM, Ray MEDDIS

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The role of auditory efferent feedback from the medial olivocochlear system (MOCS) and the middle-ear-muscle (MEM) reflex in tonal detection tasks for humans in the presence of noise is not clearly understood. Past studies have yielded inconsistent results on the relationship between efferent feedback and tonal detection thresholds. This study attempts to address this inconsistency. Fifteen human subjects with normal hearing participated in an experiment where they were asked to identify an alarm signal in the presence of 80 dBA background (pink) noise. Masked detection thresholds were estimated using the method of two-interval forced choice (2IFC). Contralateral suppression of transient-evoked otoacoustic emissions (TEOAEs) was measured to estimate the strength of auditory efferent feedback. Subsequent correlation analysis revealed that the contralateral suppression of TEOAEs was significantly negatively correlated (r=-0.526, n=15, p=0.0438) with alarm-in-noise (AIN) detection thresholds under negative signal-to-noise conditions. The result implies that the stronger the auditory efferent feedback, the worse the detection thresholds and thus the poorer the tonal detection performance in the presence of loud noise. Copyright © 2018 Published by Elsevier B.V.
LanguageEnglish
Pages124-128
JournalHearing Research
Volume367
Early online dateJul 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2018

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Signal-To-Noise Ratio
Middle Ear
Reflex
Noise
Muscles
Hearing

Citation

Karunarathne, B., Wang, T., So, R. H. Y., Kam, A. C. S., & Meddis, R. (2018). Adversarial relationship between combined medial olivocochlear (MOC) and middle-ear-muscle (MEM) reflexes and alarm-in-noise detection thresholds under negative signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs). Hearing Research, 367, 124-128. doi: 10.1016/j.heares.2018.07.013

Keywords

  • Alarm-in-noise detection
  • MOCS efferent feedback
  • MEM reflex
  • Otoacoustic emissions
  • Loud noise