Although the suppressive effect of the medial olivocochlear system (MOCS) on peripheral auditory active mechanisms is well documented in humans, the effect of efferent inhibition over prolonged periods of acoustic stimulation is less well documented, especially as observed in suppression of transient evoked otoacoustic emissions (TEOAE’s). The present study therefore evaluated the relationship between the duration of contralateral acoustic stimulation and the suppression of TEOAE’s in ten adults with normal hearing. TEOAE recordings with linear clicks (60 dB sound pressure level) were measured at four intervals during 15 minutes of continuous contralateral white noise (45 dB sound pressure level), followed by two post-noise recordings. An identical within-subject control condition was recorded without contralateral noise. Experimental and control measurements were repeated three times, on separate days. Results revealed significant and sustained TEOAE amplitude reduction for the entire duration of contralateral stimulation. Suppression increased across the duration of contralateral noise, but not sufficiently to be statistically significant. After noise termination, TEOAE amplitudes increased to values significantly above control recordings. The sustained suppression of TEOAE’s indicates continuous efferent inhibition over time in normal adults, with a significant increase in TEOAE amplitude after noise cessation possibly indicating increased outer hair cell responsiveness after prolonged contralateral noise.
Dissertation (MCommunication Pathology)--University of Pretoria, 2009.