It is well known that sound presented in the contralateral ear can elicit the activity of the olivocochlear (OC) efferent. In the present study, the effects of the addition of contralateral noise on the psychophysical measurements of auditory thresholds were investigated in human subjects with normal hearing. The results obtained in the present study indicate that the addition of contralateral noise at a level of only 20 or 30 dB sound pressure level (SPL) may cause a significant elevation of the auditory threshold in the mid-frequency area (usually 2-3 dB). When the level of contralateral noise was elevated, the elevation of the auditory threshold tended to be larger and the affected frequency area became wider. Although other factors that elevate the auditory thresholds, such as cross-talk effects and the acoustic reflex of the middle ear muscles, may be involved in the above-mentioned paradigm, especially when higher levels of contralateral noise are used, it is important to know the degree of OC-mediated threshold elevation in usual audiometric measurement.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)