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Int J Audiol. 2005 Jul;44(7):408-20.

Development of a fast method for determining psychophysical tuning curves.

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Institute of Acoustics, Adam Mickiewicz University, 85 Umultowska, 61-614 Poznań, Poland.


Psychophysical tuning curves (PTCs) can be used to assess the frequency selectivity of the auditory system and to detect and delimit "dead regions" in the cochlea. However, the traditional method for determining PTCs takes too long for use in clinical practice. We evaluated a fast method for determining PTCs, using a band of noise that sweeps in centre frequency and a Békésy method to adjust the masker level required for threshold. The shapes of the PTCs were similar for the fast and traditional methods, for both normally hearing and hearing-impaired subjects. Rates of change of masker level of 2 dB/s or less gave the most reliable results. A relatively wide bandwidth (20 percent of the signal frequency or 320 Hz, whichever is the smaller) was needed to minimise the influence of beat detection. When the signal frequency fell within a dead region, the fast method gave PTCs with shifted tips.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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