Low-frequency sound affects active micromechanics in the human inner ear

  • Noise-induced hearing loss is one of the most common auditory pathologies, resulting from overstimulation of the human cochlea, an exquisitely sensitive micromechanical device. At very low frequencies (less than 250 Hz), however, the sensitivity of human hearing, and therefore the perceived loudness is poor. The perceived loudness is mediated by the inner hair cells of the cochlea which are driven very inadequately at low frequencies. To assess the impact of low-frequency (LF) sound, we exploited a by-product of the active amplification of sound outer hair cells (OHCs) perform, so-called spontaneous otoacoustic emissions. These are faint sounds produced by the inner ear that can be used to detect changes of cochlear physiology. We show that a short exposure to perceptually unobtrusive, LF sounds significantly affects OHCs: a 90 s, 80 dB(A) LF sound induced slow, concordant and positively correlated frequency and level oscillations of spontaneous otoacoustic emissions that lasted for about 2 min after LF sound offset. LF sounds, contrary to their unobtrusive perception, strongly stimulate the human cochlea and affect amplification processes in the most sensitive and important frequency range of human hearing.

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Metadaten
Author:Kathrin Kugler, Lutz Wiegrebe, Benedikt Grothe, Manfred Kössl, Robert Gürkov, Eike Krause, Markus Drexl
URN:urn:nbn:de:hebis:30:3-418174
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.140166
ISSN:2054-5703
Pubmed Id:https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26064536
Parent Title (German):Royal Society open science
Publisher:Royal Society publishing
Place of publication:London
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Date of Publication (online):2016/12/21
Date of first Publication:2014/10/01
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2016/12/21
Tag:cochlea; low-frequency sound; noise-induced hearing loss; spontaneous otoacoustic emissions
Volume:1
Issue:(2) 140166
Page Number:11
Note:
(c) 2014 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.
HeBIS-PPN:425340171
Institutes:Biowissenschaften / Biowissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Sammlungen:Universitätspublikationen
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0