Indexed on: 13 May '14Published on: 13 May '14Published in: The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
Time-frequency analysis of the transient-evoked otoacoustic emission response was performed on a population of subjects affected by sensory-neural hearing loss characterized by a sharp audiometric profile, caused by firearm noise exposure (42 ears), and on a control population of normal-hearing subjects (84 ears). Time-frequency filtering permitted a careful evaluation of the relation between the audiometric profile and the spectral shape of the long- and short-latency otoacoustic components. Both filtered spectra closely follow the shape of the audiometric profile, with a frequency shift between them. The typical frequency shift was evaluated by averaging the otoacoustic spectra and the audiograms among groups of ears with the same cutoff frequency. Assuming that the otoacoustic emission source function depends on the local effectiveness of the cochlear amplifier, this experimental evidence suggests that the short-latency response is generated at a cochlear place displaced towards the base by about 0.5-1 mm with respect to the generation place of the long-latency component. The analysis of the control group demonstrates that, below 4 kHz, the observed effect is not dependent on the data acquisition and analysis procedure. These results confirm previous theoretical estimates and independent experimental evidence based on the measured latency difference between the two components.