Electrically evoked cubic distortion product otoacoustic emissions from gerbil cochlea

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15 Scopus citations


It has been demonstrated that electrical stimulation of the cochlear partition results in basilar membrane vibration and otoacoustic emissions. Electromotility of stimulated outer hair cells (OHCs) elicits the electrically evoked otoacoustic emissions (EEOAEs). Although electrically evoked upper and lower sideband distortion products (DPs) have been reported, electrically evoked cubic DP has not been investigated. Since the acoustically evoked cubic DP is the most commonly used otoacoustic measure of cochlear nonlinearity, this study tested whether electrical stimuli evoke a cubic DP otoacoustic emission. An electrical current containing the frequency component f1 and f2 (f1 < f2) was delivered to the round window niche of the gerbil, and electrically induced sound pressure change in the external ear canal was measured with a microphone. It was found that, in addition to f1 and f2 EEOAEs, cubic DP (2f1-f2) and other emissions at 3f1-2f2, 2f2-f1 and f2-f1 frequencies are electrically evoked. The electrically evoked cubic DP growth is similar to that of an acoustically evoked cubic DP. An electrical stimulus at f1 or f2 and an acoustic stimulus at f2 or f1 produce an identical cubic DP to that evoked by two electrical stimuli and/or two acoustic stimuli at f1 and f2 frequencies. An acoustic suppressor at a frequency near f2 can completely suppress an electrically evoked cubic DP emission. These data demonstrate that DPs can be provoked by a complex two frequency electrical current delivered to the round window niche. These stimuli elicit mechanical vibrations, from stimulated OHCs near the round window, which propagate apically toward their characteristic frequency places on the basilar membrane, and produce combination DPs. Electrically evoked cubic DPs appear to be produced by the same nonlinear mechanism that generates acoustically evoked DPs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-50
Number of pages8
JournalHearing Research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Dec 1 1996


  • Acoustic emission
  • Cochlea
  • Distortion product
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Gerbil
  • Outer hair cell motility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sensory Systems


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