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J Acoust Soc Am. 2018 May;143(5):3114. doi: 10.1121/1.5038254.

Psychoacoustic measurements of ipsilateral cochlear gain reduction as a function of signal frequency.

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Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907, USA.


Forward masking experiments at 4 kHz have demonstrated that preceding sound can elicit changes in masking patterns consistent with a change in cochlear gain. However, the acoustic environment is filled with complex sounds, often dominated by lower frequencies, and ipsilateral cochlear gain reduction at frequencies below 4 kHz is largely unstudied in the forward masking literature. In this experiment, the magnitude of ipsilateral cochlear gain reduction was explored at 1, 2, and 4 kHz using forward masking techniques in an effort to evaluate a range of frequencies in listeners with normal hearing. Gain reduction estimates were not significantly different at 2 and 4 kHz using two forward masking measurements. Although the frequency was a significant factor in the analysis, post hoc testing supported the interpretation that gain reduction estimates measured without a masker were not significantly different at 1, 2, and 4 kHz. A second experiment provided evidence that forward masking in this paradigm at 1 kHz cannot be explained by excitation alone. This study provides evidence of ipsilateral cochlear gain reduction in humans at frequencies below the 4 kHz region.

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