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Two-Tone Distortion Products in the Basilar Membrane of the Chinchilla Cochlea

  • Luis Robles
  • Mario A. Ruggero
  • Nola C. Rich
Part of the Lecture Notes in Biomathematics book series (LNBM, volume 87)

Abstract

It has been known since the early 18th. century that distortion products (DPs) exist in the auditory sensation evoked by pairs of tones [Jones, 1935]. Such DPs, also known as combination tones, can be heard at frequencies that are combinations of the primary frequencies, such as f2-f1, (n+1)f1-nf2 and (n+1)f2-nf1 , where f1 and f2 are the primary frequencies (f2 > f1, n = 1,2,3 ...). The most prominent and the best studied DPs are those with frequencies lower than those of the primary tones, particularly the “cubic difference tone” with frequency equal to 2f1-f2 [Zwicker, 1955; Goldstein, 1967; Smoorenburg, 1972], but DPs at frequencies greater than those of the primary tones (i.e., at 2f2-fJ and f2 + f ) have also been reported [Zurek and Sachs, 1979). Psychophysical studies on the frequency dependence of the 2fl -f2 distortion component suggested that this DP is generated in a mechanical nonlinearity located at the basilar membrane (BM) or in a structure closely coupled to it [Goldstein, 1967; Smoorenburg, 1972]. This was supported by recordings of cochlear microphonics [Gibian and Kim, 1982] and of responses of auditory-nerve fibers [Goldstein and Kiang, 1968; Buunen and Rhode, 1978; Kim et al., 1980; Siegel et al., 1982], cochlearnucleus neurons [Smoorenburg et al., 1976] and inner hair cells [Nuttall and Dolan, 1990), showing DPs at levels consistent with psychophysical data. Since the middle ear responds linearly to sound [Guinan and Peake, 1967; Ruggero et al., 1990] and since neural responses to DPs can be abolished by hair cell damage at cochlear sites preferentially tuned to the frequencies of the primary tones [Siegel ct al., 1982], it was concluded that DPs are generated at these sites and propagate mechanically along the cochlea to the basilar membrane location tuned to the DP frequency [Kim et al., 1980; Siegel et al., 1982).

Keywords

Hair Cell Basilar Membrane Tuning Curve Stimulus Level Effective Level 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luis Robles
    • 1
  • Mario A. Ruggero
    • 1
  • Nola C. Rich
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of OtolaryngologyUniversity of Minnesota, Research EastMinneapolisUSA
  2. 2.Departamento de Fisiología y Biofisica, Facultad de MedicinaUniversidad de ChileSantiagoChile

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