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Estimating peripheral gain and compression using fixed-duration masking curves

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date06/2013
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Number of pages11
Original languageEnglish


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.