The active mechanism in the cochlea is thought to depend on the integrity of the outer hair cells (OHCs). Cochlear hearing loss is usually associated with damage to both inner hair cells (IHCs) and OHCs, with the latter resulting in a reduction in or complete loss of the function of the active mechanism. It is believed that the active mechanism contributes to the sharpness of tuning on the basilar membrane (BM) and is also responsible for compressive input–output functions on the BM. Hence, one would expect a close relationship between measures of sharpness of tuning and measures of compression. This idea was tested by comparing three different measures of the status of the active mechanism, at center frequencies of 2, 4, and 6 kHz, using subjects with normal hearing, with unilateral or highly asymmetric cochlear hearing loss, and with bilateral loss. The first measure, HLOHC, was an indirect measure of the amount of the hearing loss attributable to OHC damage; this was based on loudness matches between the two ears of subjects with unilateral hearing loss and was derived using a loudness model. The second measure was the equivalent rectangular bandwidth (ERB) of the auditory filter, which was estimated using the notched-noise method. The third measure was based on the slopes of growth-of-masking functions obtained in forward masking. The ratio of slopes for a masker centered well below the signal frequency and a masker centered at the signal frequency gives a measure of BM compression at the place corresponding to the signal frequency; a ratio close to 1 indicates little or no compression, while ratios less than 1 indicate that compression is occurring at the signal place. Generally, the results showed the expected pattern. The ERB tended to increase with increasing HLOHC. The ratio of the forward-masking slopes increased from about 0.3 to about 1 as HLOHC increased from 0 to 55 dB. The ratio of the slopes was highly correlated with the ERB (r=0.92), indicating that the sharpness of the auditory filter decreases as the compression on the BM decreases.

1.
Allen
,
J. B.
, and
Jeng
,
P. S.
(
1990
). “
Loudness growth in 1/2-octave bands (LGOB); a procedure for the assessment of loudness
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
88
,
745
753
.
2.
Bonding
,
P.
(
1979
). “
Critical bandwidth in loudness summation in sensorineural hearing loss
,”
Br. J. Audiol.
13
,
23
30
.
3.
Bonding
,
P.
, and
Elberling
,
C.
(
1980
). “
Loudness summation across frequency under masking and in sensorineural hearing loss
,”
Audiology
19
,
57
74
.
4.
Borg
,
E.
,
Canlon
,
B.
, and
Engström
,
B.
(
1995
). “
Noise-induced hearing loss—Literature review and experiments in rabbits
,”
Scand. Audiol.
24
, Suppl. 40,
1
147
.
5.
Chistovich
,
L. A.
(
1957
). “
Frequency characteristics of masking effect
,”
Biophys. J.
2
,
743
755
.
6.
Cox
,
R. M.
,
Alexander
,
G. C.
,
Taylor
,
I. M.
, and
Gray
,
G. A.
(
1997
). “
The contour test of loudness perception
,”
Ear Hear.
18
,
388
400
.
7.
Elberling
,
C.
(
1999
). “
Loudness scaling revisited
,”
J. Am. Acad. Audiol
10
,
248
260
.
8.
Elberling, C., and Nielsen, C. (1993). “The dynamics of speech and the auditory dynamic range in sensorineural hearing impairment,” in Recent Developments in Hearing Instrument Technology, edited by J. Beilin and G. R. Jensen (Stougaard Jensen, Copenhagen).
9.
Evans
,
E. F.
(
1975
). “
The sharpening of frequency selectivity in the normal and abnormal cochlea
,”
Audiology
14
,
419
442
.
10.
Evans
,
E. F.
, and
Harrison
,
R. V.
(
1976
). “
Correlation between outer hair cell damage and deterioration of cochlear nerve tuning properties in the guinea pig
,”
J. Physiol. (London)
252
,
43
44
.
11.
Evans
,
E. F.
,
Pratt
,
S. R.
, and
Cooper
,
N. P.
(
1989
). “
Correspondence between behavioural and physiological frequency selectivity in the guinea pig
,”
Br. J. Audiol.
23
,
151
152
.
12.
Fletcher
,
H.
(
1940
). “
Auditory patterns
,”
Rev. Mod. Phys.
12
,
47
65
.
13.
Florentine
,
M.
, and
Houtsma
,
A. J. M.
(
1983
). “
Tuning curves and pitch matches in a listener with a unilateral, low-frequency hearing loss
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
73
,
961
965
.
14.
Florentine
,
M.
, and
Zwicker
,
E.
(
1979
). “
A model of loudness summation applied to noise-induced hearing loss
,”
Hearing Res.
1
,
121
132
.
15.
Fowler
,
E. P.
(
1936
). “
A method for the early detection of otosclerosis
,”
Arch. Otolaryngol.
24
,
731
741
.
16.
Garner
,
W. R.
(
1954
). “
Context effects and the validity of loudness scales
,”
J. Exp. Psychol.
48
,
218
224
.
17.
Glasberg
,
B. R.
, and
Moore
,
B. C. J.
(
1986
). “
Auditory filter shapes in subjects with unilateral and bilateral cochlear impairments
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
79
,
1020
1033
.
18.
Glasberg
,
B. R.
, and
Moore
,
B. C. J.
(
1990
). “
Derivation of auditory filter shapes from notched-noise data
,”
Hearing Res.
47
,
103
138
.
19.
Hellbrück, J. (1993). Hören (Hogrefe Verlag, Göttingen).
20.
Hellbrück
,
J.
, and
Moser
,
L. M.
(
1985
). “
Hörgeräte Audiometrie: Ein computer-unterstütztes psychologisches Verfahren zur Hörgeräteanpassung
,”
Psychol. Beitr.
27
,
494
509
.
21.
Heller, O. (1991). “Oriented category scaling of loudness and speech audiometric validation,” in Contributions to Psychological Acoustics, edited by A. Schick (BIS, Oldenburg).
22.
Hellman
,
R. P.
(
1978
). “
Dependence of loudness growth on skirts of excitation patterns
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
63
,
1114
1119
.
23.
Hellman, R. P., and Meiselman, C. H. (1986). “Is high-frequency hearing necessary for normal loudness growth at low frequencies?,” 12th ICA Paper B11-5.
24.
Hellman
,
R. P.
, and
Meiselman
,
C. H.
(
1990
). “
Loudness relations for individual and groups in normal and impaired hearing
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
88
,
2596
2606
.
25.
Hellman
,
R. P.
, and
Meiselman
,
C. H.
(
1993
). “
Rate of loudness growth for pure tones in normal and impaired hearing
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
93
,
966
975
.
26.
Hicks
,
M. L.
, and
Bacon
,
S. P.
(
1999
). “
Psychophysical measures of auditory nonlinearities as a function of frequency in individuals with normal hearing
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
105
,
326
338
.
27.
Hogan
,
C. A.
, and
Turner
,
C. W.
(
1998
). “
High-frequency audibility: Benefits for hearing-impaired listeners
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
104
,
432
441
.
28.
Hohmann, V. (1993). Dynamikkompression für Hörgeräte-Psychoakustische Grundlagen und Algorithmen (VDI-Verlag, Düsseldorf).
29.
Howell, D. C. (1997). Statistical Methods for Psychology, 4th ed. (Duxbury, Belmont, CA).
30.
Jesteadt
,
W.
,
Bacon
,
S. P.
, and
Lehman
,
J. R.
(
1982
). “
Forward masking as a function of frequency, masker level, and signal delay
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
71
,
950
962
.
31.
Johnson-Davies
,
D.
, and
Patterson
,
R. D.
(
1979
). “
Psychophysical tuning curves: restricting the listening band to the signal region
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
65
,
675
770
.
32.
Khanna
,
S. M.
, and
Leonard
,
D. G. B.
(
1982
). “
Basilar membrane tuning in the cat cochlea
,”
Science
215
,
305
306
.
33.
Kiang, N. Y. S., Moxon, E. C., and Levine, R. A. (1970). “Auditory nerve activity in cats with normal and abnormal cochleas,” in Sensorineural Hearing Loss, edited by G. E. W. Wolstenholme and J. J. Knight (Churchill, London).
34.
Kiessling, J. (1997). “Scaling methods for the selection, fitting and evaluation of hearing aids,” in Psychoacoustics, Speech and Hearing Aids, edited by B. Kollmeier (World Scientific, Singapore).
35.
Kiessling
,
J.
,
Steffens
,
T.
, and
Wagner
,
I.
(
1993
). “
Untersuchungen zur praktischen Anwendbarkeit der Lautheitsskalierung
,”
Audi. Akust.
4/93
,
100
115
.
36.
Killion
,
M. C.
(
1997
). “
Hearing aids: Past, present and future: Moving toward normal conversations in noise
,”
Br. J. Audiol.
31
,
141
148
.
37.
Laroche
,
C.
,
Hétu
,
R.
,
Quoc
,
H. T.
,
Josserand
,
B.
, and
Glasberg
,
B.
(
1992
). “
Frequency selectivity in workers with noise-induced hearing loss
,”
Hearing Res.
64
,
61
72
.
38.
Launer, S. (1995). “Loudness perception in listeners with sensorineural hearing impairment,” Ph.D. thesis, Oldenburg, Germany.
39.
Launer, S., Hohmann, V., and Kollmeier, B. (1997). “Modeling loudness growth and loudness summation in hearing-impaired listeners,” in Modeling Sensorineural Hearing Loss, edited by W. Jesteadt (Erlbaum, Mahwah, NJ).
40.
Leshowitz
,
B.
,
Linstrom
,
R.
, and
Zurek
,
P.
(
1975
). “
Psychophysical tuning curves in normal and impaired ears
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
58
,
S71
.
41.
Liberman
,
M. C.
, and
Dodds
,
L. W.
(
1984
). “
Single neuron labeling and chronic cochlea pathology. III. Stereocilia damage and alterations in threshold tuning curves
,”
Hearing Res.
16
,
54
74
.
42.
Liberman, M. C., Dodds, L. W., and Learson, D. A. (1986). “Structure-function correlation in noise-damaged ears: A light and electron-microscopic study,” in Basic and Applied Aspects of Noise-Induced Hearing Loss, edited by R. J. Salvi, D. Henderson, R. P. Hamernik, and V. Colletti (Plenum, New York).
43.
Moore
,
B. C. J.
(
1978
). “
Psychophysical tuning curves measured in simultaneous and forward masking
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
63
,
524
532
.
44.
Moore
,
B. C. J.
(
1981
). “
Interactions of masker bandwidth with signal duration and delay in forward masking
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
70
,
62
68
.
45.
Moore
,
B. C. J.
(
1986
). “
Parallels between frequency selectivity measured psychophysically and in cochlear mechanics
,”
Scand. Audiol. Suppl.
25
,
139
152
.
46.
Moore, B. C. J. (1998). Cochlear Hearing Loss (Whurr, London).
47.
Moore
,
B. C. J.
,
Alcántara
,
J. I.
, and
Dau
,
T.
(
1998
). “
Masking patterns for sinusoidal and narrowband noise maskers
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
104
,
1023
1038
.
48.
Moore
,
B. C. J.
, and
Glasberg
,
B. R.
(
1982
). “
Contralateral and ipsilateral cueing in forward masking
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
71
,
942
945
.
49.
Moore
,
B. C. J.
, and
Glasberg
,
B. R.
(
1983
). “
Growth of forward masking for sinusoidal and noise maskers as a function of signal delay: implications for suppression in noise
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
73
,
1249
1259
.
50.
Moore
,
B. C. J.
, and
Glasberg
,
B. R.
(
1985
). “
The danger of using narrowband noise maskers to measure suppression
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
77
,
2137
2141
.
51.
Moore
,
B. C. J.
, and
Glasberg
,
B. R.
(
1997
). “
A model of loudness perception applied to cochlear hearing loss
,”
Aud. Neurosci.
3
,
289
311
.
52.
Moore
,
B. C. J.
,
Glasberg
,
B. R.
, and
Baer
,
T.
(
1997
). “
A model for the prediction of thresholds, loudness and partial loudness
,”
J. Audio Eng. Soc.
45
,
224
240
.
53.
Moore
,
B. C. J.
,
Glasberg
,
B. R.
,
Hess
,
R. F.
, and
Birchall
,
J. P.
(
1985
). “
Effects of flanking noise bands on the rate of growth of loudness of tones in normal and recruiting ears
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
77
,
1505
1515
.
54.
Moore
,
B. C. J.
,
Glasberg
,
B. R.
, and
Vickers
,
D. A.
(
1999
). “
Further evaluation of a model of loudness perception applied to cochlear hearing loss
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
106
,
898
907
.
55.
Moore
,
B. C. J.
, and
Oxenham
,
A. J.
(
1998
). “
Psychoacoustic consequences of compression in the peripheral auditory system
,”
Psychol. Rev.
105
,
108
124
.
56.
Murray
,
N.
, and
Byrne
,
D.
(
1986
). “
Performance of hearing-impaired and normal hearing listeners with various high-frequency cut-offs in hearing aids
,”
Aust. J. Audiol.
8
,
21
28
.
57.
Neely
,
S. T.
(
1993
). “
A model of cochlear mechanics with outer hair cell motility
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
94
,
137
146
.
58.
Neff
,
D. L.
(
1985
). “
Stimulus parameters governing confusion effects in forward masking
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
78
,
1966
1976
.
59.
Neff
,
D. L.
(
1986
). “
Confusion effects with sinusoidal and narrowband-noise forward maskers
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
79
,
1519
1529
.
60.
O’Loughlin
,
B. J.
, and
Moore
,
B. C. J.
(
1981a
). “
Improving psychoacoustical tuning curves
,”
Hearing Res.
5
,
343
346
.
61.
O’Loughlin
,
B. J.
, and
Moore
,
B. C. J.
(
1981b
). “
Off-frequency listening: effects on psychoacoustical tuning curves obtained in simultaneous and forward masking
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
69
,
1119
1125
.
62.
Oxenham
,
A. J.
(
1997
). “
Increment and decrement detection in sinusoids as a measure of temporal resolution
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
102
,
1779
1790
.
63.
Oxenham
,
A. J.
, and
Moore
,
B. C. J.
(
1994
). “
Modeling the additivity of nonsimultaneous masking
,”
Hearing Res.
80
,
105
118
.
64.
Oxenham
,
A. J.
, and
Moore
,
B. C. J.
(
1995
). “
Additivity of masking in normally hearing and hearing-impaired subjects
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
98
,
1921
1935
.
65.
Oxenham, A. J., and Moore, B. C. J. (1997). “Modeling the effects of peripheral nonlinearity in listeners with normal and impaired hearing,” in Modeling Sensorineural Hearing Loss, edited by W. Jesteadt (Erlbaum, Mahwah, New Jersey).
66.
Oxenham
,
A. J.
, and
Plack
,
C. J.
(
1997
). “
A behavioral measure of basilar-membrane nonlinearity in listeners with normal and impaired hearing
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
101
,
3666
3675
.
67.
Pascoe
,
D. P.
(
1978
). “
An approach to hearing aid selection
,”
Hearing Inst.
29
,
12
16
.
68.
Patterson
,
R. D.
(
1976
). “
Auditory filter shapes derived with noise stimuli
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
59
,
640
654
.
69.
Patterson
,
R. D.
, and
Nimmo-Smith
,
I.
(
1980
). “
Off-frequency listening and auditory filter asymmetry
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
67
,
229
245
.
70.
Patterson
,
R. D.
,
Nimmo-Smith
,
I.
,
Weber
,
D. L.
, and
Milroy
,
R.
(
1982
). “
The deterioration of hearing with age: frequency selectivity, the critical ratio, the audiogram, and speech threshold
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
72
,
1788
1803
.
71.
Patuzzi, R. B. (1992). “Effects of noise on auditory nerve fiber response,” in Noise Induced Hearing Loss, edited by A. Dancer, D. Henderson, R. Salvi, and R. Hamernik (Mosby Year Book, St. Louis).
72.
Pick, G., Evans, E. F., and Wilson, J. P. (1977). “Frequency resolution in patients with hearing loss of cochlear origin,” in Psychophysics and Physiology of Hearing, edited by E. F. Evans and J. P. Wilson (Academic, London).
73.
Pickles, J. O. (1986). “The neurophysiological basis of frequency selectivity,” in Frequency Selectivity in Hearing, edited by B. C. J. Moore (Academic, London).
74.
Plack
,
C. J.
, and
Oxenham
,
A. J.
(
1998
). “
Basilar-membrane nonlinearity and the growth of forward masking
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
103
,
1598
1608
.
75.
Rhode
,
W. S.
(
1971
). “
Observations of the vibration of the basilar membrane in squirrel monkeys using the Mössbauer technique
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
49
,
1218
1231
.
76.
Rhode
,
W. S.
, and
Cooper
,
N. P.
(
1996
). “
Nonlinear mechanics in the apical turn of the chinchilla cochlea in vivo
,”
Aud. Neurosci.
3
,
101
121
.
77.
Robles
,
L.
,
Ruggero
,
M. A.
, and
Rich
,
N. C.
(
1986
). “
Basilar membrane mechanics at the base of the chinchilla cochlea. I. Input–output functions, tuning curves, and response phases
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
80
,
1364
1374
.
78.
Ruggero
,
M. A.
, and
Rich
,
N. C.
(
1991
). “
Furosemide alters organ of Corti mechanics: Evidence for feedback of outer hair cells upon the basilar membrane
,”
J. Neurosci.
11
,
1057
1067
.
79.
Ruggero
,
M. A.
,
Rich
,
N. C.
,
Recio
,
A.
,
Narayan
,
S. S.
, and
Robles
,
L.
(
1997
). “
Basilar-membrane responses to tones at the base of the chinchilla cochlea
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
101
,
2151
2163
.
80.
Ruggero, M. A., Rich, N. C., Robles, L., and Recio, A. (1996). “The effects of acoustic trauma, other cochlea injury and death on basilar membrane responses to sound,” in Scientific Basis of Noise-Induced Hearing Loss, edited by A. Axelsson, H. Borchgrevink, R. P. Hamernik, P. A. Hellstrom, D. Henderson, and R. J. Salvi (Thieme, Stockholm).
81.
Sellick
,
P. M.
,
Patuzzi
,
R.
, and
Johnstone
,
B. M.
(
1982
). “
Measurement of basilar membrane motion in the guinea pig using the Mössbauer technique
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
72
,
131
141
.
82.
Small
,
A. M.
(
1959
). “
Pure-tone masking
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
31
,
1619
1625
.
83.
Steinberg
,
J. C.
, and
Gardner
,
M. B.
(
1937
). “
The dependency of hearing impairment on sound intensity
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
9
,
11
23
.
84.
Stone
,
M. A.
,
Glasberg
,
B. R.
, and
Moore
,
B. C. J.
(
1992
). “
Simplified measurement of impaired auditory filter shapes using the notched-noise method
,”
Br. J. Audiol.
26
,
329
334
.
85.
Thornton
,
A. R.
, and
Abbas
,
P. J.
(
1980
). “
Low-frequency hearing loss: perception of filtered speech, psychophysical tuning curves, and masking
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
67
,
638
643
.
86.
Weber
,
D. L.
, and
Green
,
D. M.
(
1978
). “
Temporal factors and suppression effects in backward and forward masking
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
64
,
1392
1399
.
87.
Williams
,
E. J.
(
1959
). “
The comparison of regression variables
,”
J. Royal. Stat. Soc. (B)
21
,
396
399
.
88.
Yates
,
G. K.
(
1990
). “
Basilar membrane nonlinearity and its influence on auditory nerve rate-intensity functions
,”
Hearing Res.
50
,
145
162
.
89.
Yates, G. K. (1995). “Cochlear structure and function,” in Hearing, edited by B. C. J. Moore (Academic, San Diego).
90.
Zwicker
,
E.
,
Flottorp
,
G.
, and
Stevens
,
S. S.
(
1957
). “
Critical bandwidth in loudness summation
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
29
,
548
557
.
91.
Zwicker
,
E.
, and
Scharf
,
B.
(
1965
). “
A model of loudness summation
,”
Psychol. Rev.
72
,
3
26
.
This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.