The mechanical waveform of the basilar membrane. IV. Tone and noise stimuli

Egbert De Boer, Alfred L. Nuttall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Analysis of mechanical cochlear responses to wide bands of random noise clarifies many effects of cochlear nonlinearity. The previous paper [de Boer and Nuttall, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 107, 1497-1507 (2000)] illustrates how closely results of computations in a nonlinear cochlear model agree with responses from physiological experiments. In the present paper results for tone stimuli are reported. It was found that the measured frequency response for pure tones differs little from the frequency response associated with a noise signal. For strong stimuli, well into the nonlinear region, tones have to be presented at a specific level with respect to the noise for this to be true. In this report the nonlinear cochlear model originally developed for noise analysis was modified to accommodate pure tones. For this purpose the efficiency with which outer hair cells modify the basilar-membrane response was made into a function of cochlear location based on local excitation. For each experiment, the modified model is able to account for the experimental findings, within 1 or 2 dB. Therefore, the model explains why the type of filtering that tones undergo in the cochlea is essentially the same as that for noise signals (provided the tones are presented at the appropriate level).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)979-989
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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