Spontaneous otoacoustic emissions in chinchilla ear canals: Correlation with histopathology and suppression by external tones

W. W. Clark, D. O. Kim, P. M. Zurek, B. A. Bohne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations

Abstract

Two cases of spontaneous otoacoustic emissions (SOAEs) have been found among a sample of 28 chinchilla ears after noise exposure, and no cases of SOAEs have been found among 28 unexposed ears. Further observations of the characteristics of SOAEs recorded in the ear canals of two chinchillas after noise exposure are described. These signals were tonal, robust, and could be suppressed by presenting external tones to the ear. Histopathological evaluation of the cochlea of emitting ears revealed discrete basal-turn lesions near the positions corresponding to the frequencies of the emissions. Behavioral threshold shifts measured in one animal after noise exposure and acoustic intermodulation distortion product behavior in the other both suggest a region of increased vibratory response of the cochlear partition near the location of the SOAE. Results from these emitting ears support a hypothesis that a punctate loss of the organ of Corti (OC) may facilitate the occurrence of an SOAE. We further hypothesize that the following conditions are both necessary and sufficient for an SOAE to occur: (1) functional disruption of a normally present biomechanical control mechanism in a region of the OC; (2) presence of functionally active OC (especially outer hair cells) adjacent to the region. The observations from ears possessing SOAEs provide strong, though indirect support for active and nonlinear models in interpreting cochlear biomechanical phenomena.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-314
Number of pages16
JournalHearing research
Volume16
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1984

Keywords

  • chinchilla
  • cochlear histopathology
  • objective tinnitus
  • spontaneous otoacoustic emission

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