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July 1974

Cochlear Electrical Activity in Noise-Induced Hearing Loss: Behavioral and Electrophysiological Studies in Primates

Author Affiliations

Ann Arbor, Mich
From the Kresge Hearing Research Institute and the Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1974;100(1):36-40. doi:10.1001/archotol.1974.00780040040008

In behavioral and chronic electrophysiological studies on monkeys exposed to octave band noise, cochlear microphonic and action-potential responses to puretone bursts were compared to behaviorally obtained thresholds from the same animals. The following results were obtained: (1) Behavioral pure-tone thresholds were within 3 dB of cochlear action-potential thresholds before noise exposure. However, during recovery from noise exposure, action-potential thresholds were as much as 10 dB lower, suggesting the possibility of physiological "masking." (2) Input-output functions for the cochlear action potentials during these recovery periods strongly resembled loudness recruitment functions, and maximum voltages obtained frequently exceeded preexposure values. Several reasonable explanations for post-exposure loudness recruitment exist, but the basis of the marked transient increase in cochlear electrical activity is still open to speculation. A circulatory rebound phenomenon may be involved.