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Acta Otolaryngol. 2011 Dec;131(12):1279-85. doi: 10.3109/00016489.2011.607845. Epub 2011 Sep 5.

Experiments on the mechanism of underwater hearing.

Author information

1
Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, University of Rostock, Germany. hans-wilhelm.pau@med.uni-rostock.de

Abstract

CONCLUSION:

The findings suggest that underwater sound perception is realized by the middle ear rather than by bone conduction, at least in shallow water conditions.

OBJECTIVE:

To prove whether underwater sound perception is effected by bone conduction or by conduction via the middle ear.

METHODS:

Five divers, breathing through snorkels, were tested in a swimming pool, to determine whether a sound was louder when the acoustic source placed was in front of the head in comparison with a lateral application facing the ear region. The second experiment investigated whether sound perception is influenced by ear protection plugs in underwater conditions. Also, the effect of a 5 mm thick neoprene hood was determined, with and without an additional perforation in the ear region.

RESULTS:

Sounds were louder when applied from a position laterally facing the ear, louder without than with a protection plug, louder without than with a neoprene hood on, and louder when the neoprene hood had a perforation in the region of the ear than with an intact hood.

PMID:
21888565
DOI:
10.3109/00016489.2011.607845
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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