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Estimating peripheral gain and compression using fixed-duration masking curves

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date06/2013
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Journal number6
Volume133
Number of pages11
Pages4145-4155
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Estimates of human basilar membrane gain and compression obtained using temporal masking curve (TMC) and additivity of forward masking (AFM) methods with long-duration maskers or long masker-signal silent intervals may be affected by olivocochlear efferent activation, which reduces basilar membrane gain. The present study introduces a fixed-duration masking curve (FDMC) method, which involves a comparison of off-and on-frequency forward masker levels at threshold as a function of masker and signal duration, with the total masker-signal duration fixed at 25 ms to minimize efferent effects. Gain and compression estimates from the FDMC technique were compared with those from TMC (104-ms maskers) and AFM (10- and 200-ms maskers) methods. Compression estimates over an input-masker range of 40-60 dB sound pressure level were similar for the four methods. Maximum compression occurred at a lower input level for the FDMC compared to the TMC method. Estimates of gain were similar for TMC and FDMC methods. The FDMC method may provide a more reliable estimate of BM gain and compression in the absence of efferent activation and could be a useful method for estimating effects of efferent activity when used with a precursor sound (to trigger efferent activation), presented prior to the combined masker-signal stimulus. (C) 2013 Acoustical Society of America.