Otoacoustic interrelationships of the barn owl

Christopher Bergevin, Geoffrey A. Manley, Christine Köppl

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Significant debate still exists about the biophysical mechanisms at work in otoacoustic emission (OAE) generation and how such may differ between mammals and non-mammals given gross morphological differences (e.g., existence of basilar membrane traveling waves, degree of tectorial membrane coupling). To further elucidate general principles at work, we examined the barn owl for interrelationships between spontaneous emissions (SOAEs) and those evoked using a single tone (SFOAEs). First, most ears exhibited SOAEs as a stable periodic 'rippling' whose peak-to-peak spacing was relatively constant (∼0.4 kHz). Some ears showed substantially larger narrowband peaks, although their statistical distributions were highly noisy. Second, significant interactions between a low-level tone and SOAE activity were observed via an interference pattern as the tone frequency was swept. Using a suppression paradigm to extract SFOAEs as the residual, the magnitude exhibited a stable pattern of peaks and valleys unique to each ear. Third, SFOAE phase exhibited significant accumulation as frequency was swept, with a phase-gradient delay of approximately 2 ms that was constant across frequency. The amount of SFOAE phase accumulation between adjacent SOAE peaks tended to cluster about an integral number of cycles, as previously observed for humans. Taken together, our data suggest that the principles underlying how active hair cells work together (e.g., entrainment, phase coherence) are shared between widely different inner ear morphologies, leading to the generation of OAEs with similar properties.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMechanics of Hearing
Subtitle of host publicationProtein to Perception - Proceedings of the 12th International Workshop on the Mechanics of Hearing
EditorsDavid P. Corey, K. Domenica Karavitaki
PublisherAmerican Institute of Physics Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9780735413504
StatePublished - 31 Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes
Event12th International Workshop on the Mechanics of Hearing: Protein to Perception - Cape Sounio, Greece
Duration: 23 Jun 201429 Jun 2014

Publication series

NameAIP Conference Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0094-243X
ISSN (Electronic)1551-7616


Conference12th International Workshop on the Mechanics of Hearing: Protein to Perception
CityCape Sounio


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