Title
Nonlinearity in eardrum vibration as a function of frequency and sound pressure
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Sciences. Physics
Publication type
article
Publication
Amsterdam ,
Subject
Physics
Human medicine
Source (journal)
Hearing research. - Amsterdam
Volume/pages
263(2010) , p. 26-32
ISSN
0378-5955
ISI
000278583700005
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
It is generally accepted that the middle ear acts mainly as a linear system for sound pressures up to 130 dB SPL in the auditory frequency range. However, at quasi-static pressure loads a strong nonlinear response has been demonstrated. Consequently, small nonlinear distortions may also be present in the middle ear response in the auditory frequency range. A new measurement method was developed to quickly determine vibration response, nonlinear distortions and noise level of acoustically driven biomechanical systems. Specially designed multisines are used for the excitation of the test system. The method is applied on a gerbil eardrum for sound pressures ranging from 90 to 120 dB SPL and for frequencies ranging from 125 Hz to 16 kHz. The experiments show that nonlinear distortions rise above noise level at a sound pressure of 96 dB SPL, and they grow as sound pressure increases. Post-mortem changes in the middle ear influence the nonlinear distortions rapidly until a stabilization occurs after approximately 3 h.
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