Electrically evoked otoacoustic emissions from apical and basal perilymphatic electrode positions in the guinea pig cochlea

Alfred L. Nuttall, Jiefu Zheng, Tianying Ren, Egbert De Boer

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18 Scopus citations


Stimulation of the cochlea with sinusoidal current results in the production of an otoacoustic emission at the primary frequency of the stimulus current. In this study we test the hypothesis that the wide frequency response from round window (RW) stimulation is due to the involvement of a relatively large spatial segment of the organ of Corti. Tonotopically organized group delays would be evident from perilymphatic electrode locations that restrict the spatial extent of hair cell stimulation. Monopolar and bipolar-paired stimulus electrodes were placed in perilymphatic areas of the first or third cochlear turns and the electrically evoked otoacoustic emissions (EEOAE) produced by these electrodes were compared to that from the RW monopolar electrode in the anesthetized guinea pig. Current stimuli of 35 μA RMS were swept across the frequency range between 60 Hz and 100 kHz. The EEOAE was measured using a microphone coupled to the ear canal. It was found that the bandwidth of EEOAEs from RW stimulation extended to at least 40 kHz and was a relatively insensitive to electrode location on the RW. The group delay of the EEOAE from stimulation at the RW membrane (corrected to stapes motion) was about 53 μs. First and third turn stimulations from electrode placements in perilymph near the bony wall of cochlea yielded narrower band EEOAE magnitude spectra but which had the same short group delays as for RW stimulation. A confined current (from a bipolar electrode pair) applied close to the basilar membrane (BM) in the first turn produced the narrowest frequency-band magnitude emissions and a mean corrected group delay of 176 μs for a location approximately 3 mm from the high frequency end of the BM (corresponding to about the 18 kHz best frequency location). Bipolar electrodes in the third turn scala tympani produced low pass EEOAE magnitude functions with corrected group delays ranging between approximately 0.3 and 1 ms. The average phase slopes did not change with altered cochlear sensitivity and postmortem. These data indicate that the EEOAE from RW stimulation is the summed response from a wide-tonotopic distribution of outer hair cells. A preliminary model study indicates that short time delayed emissions are the result of a large spatial distribution of current applied to perilymphatic locations possibly giving rise to 'wave-fixed' emissions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-89
Number of pages13
JournalHearing Research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2001


  • Electromotility
  • Fine structure
  • Guinea pig
  • Otoacoustic emission
  • Outer hair cell
  • Traveling wave

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sensory Systems


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