Spontaneous basilar membrane oscillation and otoacoustic emission at 15 kHz in a guinea pig

A. L. Nuttall, K. Grosh, J. Zheng, E. De Boer, Y. Zou, T. Ren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


A spontaneous otoacoustic emission (SOAE) measured in the ear canal of a guinea pig was found to have a counterpart in spontaneous mechanical vibration of the basilar membrane (BM). A spontaneous 15-kHz BM velocity signal was measured from the 18-kHz tonotopic location and had a level close to that evoked by a 14-kHz, 15-dB SPL tone given to the ear. Lower-frequency pure-tone acoustic excitation was found to reduce the spontaneous BM oscillation (SBMO) while higher-frequency sound could entrain the SBMO. Octave-band noise centered near the emission frequency showed an increased narrow-band response in that frequency range. Applied pulses of current enhanced or suppressed the oscillation, depending on polarity of the current. The compound action potential (CAP) audiogram demonstrated a frequency-specific loss at 8 and 12 kHz in this animal. We conclude that a relatively high-frequency spontaneous oscillation of 15 kHz originated near the 15-kHz tonotopic place and appeared at the measured BM location as a mechanical oscillation. The oscillation gave rise to a SOAE in the ear canal. Electric current can modulate level and frequency of the otoacoustic emission in a pattern similar to that for the observed mechanical oscillation of the BM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)337-348
Number of pages12
JournalJARO - Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Sensory Systems


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