Loudness recruitment: Contributing mechanisms as revealed by cochlear AP measures in man
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A measure of the (average) rate of discharge versus intensity function of cochlear fibers can be obtained from cochlear-evoked compound action potentials using a tone-on-tone forward masking technique. The rationale for the method is presented. This technique was used to investigate, indirectly, cochlear fiber responses in human subjects, both with normal hearing and with deafness of cochlear origin and showing signs of loudness recruitment. In animals with pathologic cochleas, the change in rate of fiber discharge with intensity is more rapid than in normal animals. The present study confirms that this also is the case in human cochlear pathology and suggests that this abnormal steepening of rate versus intensity functions contributes to the phenomenon of loudness recruitment.
Key wordsLoudness recruitment Cochlear pathology Cochlear nerve fibers Intensity functions
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