Automated Wideband Acoustic Reflex Threshold Test

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Acoustic reflex thresholds (ARTs) are used clinically as a cross check for behavioral results and as a measure of 7th and 8th cranial nerve function. In clinical test batteries, ARTs are measured as a change in middle ear admittance of a pure tone probe in the presence of a pure tone or broadband noise (BBN) reflex activator. ARTs measured using a wideband probe may yield lower thresholds because the criterion change for 'present' reflexes can be observed across a range of frequencies rather than at a single frequency. ARTs were elicited in a group of 25 adults with normal hearing using a 226-Hz probe and a wideband (250 to 8000 Hz) probe, and activators of 500, 1000, and 2000-Hz and broadband noise (BBN). Wideband ARTs were estimated using an automated adaptive method. Lower mean ARTs were obtained for the wideband method compared to the clinical method by as much as 5-10 dB for tonal activators and 15 dB for BBN. Clinical benefits of lower ARTs include reduced activator levels during threshold estimation, and present rather than absent responses in some ears with absent ART using the clinical method. Results are encouraging for the automated adaptive ART procedure.


Scottsdale, AZ

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