Evidence for a cortically mediated release from inhibition in the human cochlea

Journal of the American Academy of Audiology
Ashley W Harkrider, C Dane Bowers

Abstract

To determine cortical influence on the efferent medial olivocochlear bundle system. The effects of attention on contralateral suppression (CS) of click-evoked otoacoustic emissions were measured. Fifteen normal-hearing listeners. CS was greatest in the nonattending condition and decreased significantly when attending to the click or broadband noise suppressor. The effects of attention on CS were not frequency dependent or due to changes in recording noise measures. Attention to either the ipsilateral, evoking stimulus or the contralateral suppressor causes a top-down, cortically mediated release from inhibition at the level of the cochlea that is measurable with common audiologic protocols and instrumentation. Future studies assessing the effects of attention on CS of click-evoked otoacoustic emissions in normal controls and individuals with various auditory or attentional deficits may provide valuable information about the capabilities of the cortex to affect peripheral processing in a normal and/or pathological system.

Citations

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Related Concepts

Acoustic Stimulation
Mental Concentration
Cochlear Structure
Hearing
Neural Inhibition
Olivary Nucleus
Otoacoustic Emissions, Spontaneous
Cochlear Nucleus Structure
Attention
Cerebral Cortex

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