Laser Doppler velocimetry for measurement of nonlinearity in the vibrations of the middle ear
Faculty of Sciences. Physics
AIP conference proceedings / American Institute of Physics. - New York
, p. 342-346
University of Antwerp
At audible Frequencies and at sound pressure below 96 dB SPL the mammalian middle ear is known to behave as an almost entirely linear system. However, as we go to higher sound pressure levels, smaller nonlinear distortions begin to appear, and increase with increasing pressure level. Some modern hearing aids seek to remedy hearing impairment by amplifying sounds to sound pressure levels as high as 130 or 140 dB SPL. Thus at these levels the small nonlinear distortions can become significant, and understanding their behaviour could help us to improve the design of these hearing aids. In order to measure the tiny vibration amplitudes of the middle ear, and to detect the even smaller nonlinear distortions, a very sensitive measurement and analysis method is needed. The tiny vibration amplitudes of the middle ear can easily be measured with laser vibrometry. Thanks to the highly linear response of LDV, the technique is also able to measure small nonlinearities. To detect the nonlinear distortions we developed a sophisticated measurement and analysis method based on the use of multisine excitation signals. These signals are specially designed to measure nonlinear systems. We will describe our set up and our stimulation and analysis method in detail, we will then go on to present some results of measurements at different points along the ossicular chain.