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Multiple indices of the 'bounce' phenomenon obtained from the same human ears

J Assoc Res Otolaryngol 15: 57-72. doi: 10.1007/s10162-013-0424-x. Epub 2013 Nov 20.

Authors/Editors: Drexl M
Überfuhr M
Weddell TD
Lukashkin AN
Wiegrebe L
Krause E
Gürkov R
Publication Date: 2014
Type of Publication: Journal Articles 2001 - 2017


Loud low-frequency sounds can induce temporary oscillatory changes in cochlear sensitivity, which have been termed the 'bounce' phenomenon. The origin of these sensitivity changes has been attributed to slow fluctuations in cochlear homeostasis, causing changes in the operating points of the outer hair cell mechano-electrical and electro-mechanical transducers. Here, we acquired three objective and subjective measures resulting in a comprehensive dataset of the bounce phenomenon in each of 22 normal-hearing human subjects. We analysed the level and phase of cubic and quadratic distortion product otoacoustic emissions and the auditory thresholds before and after presentation of a low-frequency stimulus (30 Hz sine wave, 120 dB SPL, 90 s) as a function of time. In addition, the perceived loudness of temporary, tinnitus-like sensations occurring in all subjects after cessation of the low-frequency stimulus was tracked over time. The majority of the subjects (70 %) showed a significant, biphasic change of quadratic, but not cubic, distortion product otoacoustic emissions of about 3-4 dB. Eighty-six percent of the tested subjects showed significant alterations of hearing thresholds after low-frequency stimulation. Four different types of threshold changes were observed, namely monophasic desensitisations (the majority of cases), monophasic sensitisations, biphasic alterations with initial sensitisation and biphasic alterations with initial desensitisation. The similar duration of the three bounce phenomenon measures indicates a common origin. The current findings are consistent with the hypothesis that slow oscillations of homeostatic control mechanisms and associated operating point shifts within the cochlea are the source of the bounce phenomenon.

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