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J Audiol Otol. 2017 Apr;21(1):1-8. doi: 10.7874/jao.2017.21.1.1. Epub 2017 Mar 30.

Role of Active Listening and Listening Effort on Contralateral Suppression of Transient Evoked Otoacousic Emissions.

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Department of Audiology and Speech Language Pathology, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal University, Mangalore, India.



The present study aimed to investigate the effect of active listening and listening effort on the contralateral suppression of transient evoked otoacoustic emissions (CSTEOAEs).


Twenty eight young adults participated in the study. Transient evoked otoacoustic emissions (TEOAEs) were recorded using 'linear' clicks at 60 dB peSPL, in three contralateral noise conditions. In condition 1, TEOAEs were obtained in the presence of white noise in the contralateral ear. While, in condition 2, speech was embedded into white noise at +3, -3, and -9 dB signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and delivered to the contralateral ear. The SNR was varied to investigate the effect of listening effort on the CSTEOAE. In condition 3, speech was played backwards and embedded into white noise at -3 dB SNR. The conditions 1 and 3 served as passive listening condition and the condition 2 served as active listening condition. In active listening condition, the participants categorized the words in to two groups (e.g., animal and vehicle).


CSTEOAE was found to be largest in the presence of white noise, and the amount of CSTEOAE was not significantly different between active and passive listening conditions (condition 2 and 3). Listening effort had an effect on the CSTEOAE, the amount of suppression increased with listening effort, when SNR was decreased from +3 dB to -3 dB. However, when the SNR was further reduced to -9 dB, there was no further increase in the amount of CSTEOAE, instead there was a reduction in the amount of suppression.


The findings of the present study show that listening effort might affect CSTEOAE.


Active listening; Listening effort; OAE; TEOAE suppression

Conflict of interest statement

Conflicts of interest: The authors have no financial conflicts of interest.

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