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Audiol Neurootol. 2003 Nov-Dec;8(6):347-53.

Intelligibility of sentences recorded from the uterus of a pregnant ewe and from the fetal inner ear.

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Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Institute for the Advanced Studies of Communication Processes, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA.


The intelligibility of sentences recorded from the uterus of a pregnant ewe and from the near-term fetal sheep inner ear was judged by 30 listeners. Sentences were presented to the ewe at 95 and 105 dB SPL while sequential recordings of sound with a hydrophone and a cochlear microphonic (CM) with electrodes were made. Recordings were randomized and presented to listeners to judge the intelligibility of sentences processed through the ewe and fetal inner ear. Intelligibility scores were nearly 99% for air and uterus conditions, dropped to 73% for CM ex utero and to 41% for CM in utero. Results indicated that filtering provided by the tissues and fluids of the maternal abdomen did not affect sentence intelligibility significantly, but the filtering effects as the signal passed into the fetal inner ear resulted in much poorer intelligibility.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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