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Noise-induced hearing loss alters the temporal dynamics of auditory-nerve responses

, : Noise-induced hearing loss alters the temporal dynamics of auditory-nerve responses. Hearing Research 269(1-2): 23-33

Auditory-nerve fibers demonstrate dynamic response properties in that they adapt to rapid changes in sound level, both at the onset and offset of a sound. These dynamic response properties affect temporal coding of stimulus modulations that are perceptually relevant for many sounds such as speech and music. Temporal dynamics have been well characterized in auditory-nerve fibers from normal-hearing animals, but little is known about the effects of sensorineural hearing loss on these dynamics. This study examined the effects of noise-induced hearing loss on the temporal dynamics in auditory-nerve fiber responses from anesthetized chinchillas. Post-stimulus-time histograms were computed from responses to 50-ms tones presented at characteristic frequency and 30 dB above fiber threshold. Several response metrics related to temporal dynamics were computed from post-stimulus-time histograms and were compared between normal-hearing and noise-exposed animals. Results indicate that noise-exposed auditory-nerve fibers show significantly reduced response latency, increased onset response and percent adaptation, faster adaptation after onset, and slower recovery after offset. The decrease in response latency only occurred in noise-exposed fibers with significantly reduced frequency selectivity. These changes in temporal dynamics have important implications for temporal envelope coding in hearing-impaired ears, as well as for the design of dynamic compression algorithms for hearing aids.


PMID: 20696230

DOI: 10.1016/j.heares.2010.07.009

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