Comparison of Behavioral and Physiological Measures of the Status of the Cochlear Nonlinearity

Michal Fereczkowski*, Torsten Dau, Ewen N. MacDonald

*Corresponding author for this work

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While an audiogram is a useful method of characterizing hearing loss, it has been suggested that including a complementary, suprathreshold measure, for example, a measure of the status of the cochlear active mechanism, could lead to improved diagnostics and improved hearing-aid fitting in individual listeners. While several behavioral and physiological methods have been proposed to measure the cochlear-nonlinearity characteristics, evidence of a good correspondence between them is lacking, at least in the case of hearing-impaired listeners. If this lack of correspondence is due to, for example, limited reliability of one of such measures, it might be a reason for limited evidence of the benefit of measuring peripheral compression. The aim of this study was to investigate the relation between measures of the peripheral-nonlinearity status estimated using two psychoacoustical methods (based on the notched-noise and temporal-masking curve methods) and otoacoustic emissions, on a large sample of hearing-impaired listeners. While the relation between the estimates from the notched-noise and the otoacoustic emissions experiments was found to be stronger than predicted by the audiogram alone, the relations between the two measures and the temporal-masking based measure did not show the same pattern, that is, the variance shared by any of the two measures with the temporal-masking curve-based measure was also shared with the audiogram.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTrends in Hearing
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Notched-noise test
  • Otoacoustic emissions
  • Peripheral compression
  • Temporal-masking curve test


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