Hearing research

Publisher: Elsevier

Description

  • Impact factor
    2.18
  • 5-year impact
    2.06
  • Cited half-life
    9.90
  • Immediacy index
    0.34
  • Eigenfactor
    0.01
  • Article influence
    0.75
  • ISSN
    1878-5891

Publisher details

Elsevier

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    • Publisher last contacted on 18/10/2013
  • Classification
    ​ green

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Neuronal firing synchronization is critical for recording auditory responses from the brainstem. Recent studies have shown that both click and/da/synthetic syllable (speech) stimuli perform well in evoking neuronal synchronization at the brainstem level. In the present study, brainstem responses to click and speech stimuli were compared between children with learning problems (LP) and those with normal learning (NL) abilities. The study included 49 children with LP and 34 children with NL. Auditory brainstem response (ABR) to 100-μs click stimulus and speech ABR (sABR) to/da/40-ms stimulus were tested in these children. Wave latencies III, V, and Vn and inter-peak latency (IPL) V-Vn in click ABR and wave latencies I, V, and A and IPL V-A in sABR were significantly longer in children with LP than children with NL. Except IPL of I-III, a significant positive correlation was observed between click ABR and sABR wave latencies and IPLs in children with NL; this correlation was weaker or not observed in children with LP. In this regard, the difference between correlation coefficients of wave latencies I, III, and V and IPLs I-V and V-Vn/V-A was significant in the two groups. Deficits in auditory processing timing in children with LP may have probably affected ABR for both click and speech stimuli. This finding emphasizes the possibility of shared connections between processing timing for speech and non-speech stimuli in auditory brainstem pathways. Weak or no correlation between click and speech ABR parameters in children with LP may have a clinical relevance and may be effectively used for objective diagnoses after confirming its sufficient sensitivity and specificity and demonstrating its acceptable validity with more scientific evidence.
    Hearing research 05/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: In auditory research the guinea pig is often preferred above rats and mice because of the easily accessible cochlea and because the frequency range of its hearing is more comparable to that of humans. Studies of the guinea-pig auditory system primarily apply histological and electrophysiological measures. Behavioral animal paradigms, in particular in combination with these histological and electrophysiological methods, are necessary in the development of new therapeutic interventions. However, the guinea pig is not considered an attractive animal for behavioral experiments. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to develop a behavioral task suitable for guinea pigs, that can be utilized in cochlear-implant related research. Guinea pigs were trained in a modified shuttle-box in which a stream of air was used as unconditioned stimulus (UCS). A stream of air was preferred over conventionally used methods as electric foot-shocks since it produces less stress, which is a confounding factor in behavioral experiments. Hearing guinea pigs were trained to respond to acoustic stimuli. They responded correctly within only five sessions of ten minutes. The animals maintained their performance four weeks after the right cochlea was implanted with an electrode array. After systemic deafening, the animals responded in the first session immediately to intracochlear electrical stimulation. These responses were not affected by daily chronic electrical stimulation (CES). In conclusion, the present study demonstrates that guinea pigs can be trained relatively fast to respond to acoustic stimuli, and that the training has a lasting effect, which generalizes to intracochlear electrical stimulation after deafening. Furthermore, it demonstrates that bilaterally deafened guinea pigs with substantial (∼50%) loss of spiral ganglion cells (SGCs), detect intracochlear electrical stimulation.
    Hearing research 05/2014; 313:67-74.
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    ABSTRACT: The intercellular gap junction channels formed by connexins (CXs) are important for recycling potassium ions in the inner ear. CXs are encoded by a family of the CX gene, such as GJB2, and the mechanism leading to mutant connexin-associated diseases, including hearing loss, remains to be elucidated. In this study, using bioinformatics, we found that two zebrafish cx genes, cx27.5 and cx30.3, are likely homologous to human and mouse GJB2. During embryogenesis, zebrafish cx27.5 was rarely expressed at 1.5-3 hours post-fertilization (hpf), but a relatively high level of cx27.5 expression was detected from 6-96 hpf. However, zebrafish cx30.3 transcripts were hardly detected until 9 hpf. The temporal experiment was conducted in whole larvae. Both cx27.5 and cx30.3 transcripts were revealed significantly in the inner ear by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and whole-mount in situ hybridization (WISH). In the HeLa cell model, we found that zebrafish Cx27.5 was distributed intracellularly in the cytoplasm, whereas Cx30.3 was localized in the plasma membrane of HeLa cells stably expressing Cx proteins. The expression pattern of zebrafish Cx30.3 in HeLa cells was more similar to that of cells expressing human CX26 than Cx27.5. In addition, we found that Cx30.3 was localized in the cell membrane of hair cells within the inner ear by immunohistochemistry (IHC), suggesting that zebrafish cx30.3 might play an essential role in the development of the inner ear, in the same manner as human GJB2. We then performed morpholino knockdown studies in zebrafish embryos to elucidate the physiological functions of Cx30.3. The zebrafish cx30.3 morphants exhibited wild-type-like and heart edema phenotypes with smaller inner ears at 72 hpf. Based on these results, we suggest that the zebrafish Cx30.3 and mammalian CX26 may play alike roles in the inner ear. Thus, zebrafish can potentially serve as a model for studying hearing loss disorders that result from human CX26 mutations.
    Hearing research 05/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Pain relievers containing N-acetyl-para-aminophenol, also called APAP, acetaminophen or paracetamol, in combination with opioid narcotics are top-selling pharmaceuticals in the U.S. Individuals who abuse these drugs for as little as sixty days can develop tinnitus and progressive bilateral sensorineural hearing loss. Recently published studies indicate that APAP and its metabolic product N-acetyl-p-benzoquinoneimine (NAPQI) are the primary ototoxic agents in this type of pain relievers. However, the mechanisms underlying the deleterious effects of these drugs on auditory cells remain to be fully characterized. In this study, we report cellular, genomic, and proteomic experiments revealing that cytotoxicity by APAP and NAPQI involves two different pathways in Immortomouse™-derived HEI-OC1 cells, implicating ROS overproduction, alterations in ER morphology, redistribution of intra-cisternal chaperones, activation of the eIF2α-CHOP pathway, as well as changes in ER stress and protein folding response markers. Thus, both oxidative and ER stress are part of the cellular and molecular mechanisms that contribute to the cytotoxic effects of APAP and NAPQI in these cells. We suggest that these in vitro findings should be taken into consideration when designing pharmacological strategies aimed at preventing the toxic effects of these drugs on the auditory system.
    Hearing research 04/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Compared to auditory brainstem responses (ABRs), cochlear microphonics (CMs) may be more appropriate to serve as a supplement to the test of otoacoustic emissions (OAEs). Researchers have shown that low-frequency CMs from the apical cochlea are measurable at the tympanic membrane using high-pass masking noise. Our objective is to study the effect of such noise at different intensities on low-frequency CMs recorded at the ear canal, which is not completely known. Six components were involved in this CM measurement including an ear canal electrode (1), a relatively long and low-frequency toneburst (2), and high-pass masking noise at different intensities (3). The rest components include statistical analysis based on multiple human subjects (4), curve modeling based on amplitudes of CM waveforms (CMWs) and noise intensity (5), and a technique based on electrocochleography (ECochG or ECoG) (6). Results show that low-frequency CMWs appeared clearly. The CMW amplitude decreased with an increase in noise level. It decreased first slowly, then faster, and finally slowly again. In conclusion, when masked with high-pass noise, the low-frequency CMs are measurable at the human ear canal. Such noise reduces the low-frequency CM amplitude. The reduction is noise-intensity dependent but not completely linear. The reduction may be caused by the excited basal cochlea which the low-frequency has to travel and pass through. Although not completely clear, six mechanisms related to such reduction are discussed.
    Hearing research 04/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Normal microvessel structure and function in the cochlea is essential for maintaining the ionic and metabolic homeostasis required for hearing function. Abnormal cochlear microcirculation has long been considered an etiologic factor in hearing disorders. A better understanding of cochlear blood flow (CoBF) will enable more effective amelioration of hearing disorders that result from aberrant blood flow. However, establishing the direct relationship between CoBF and other cellular events in the lateral wall and response to physio-pathological stress remains a challenge due to the lack of feasible interrogation methods and difficulty in accessing the inner ear. Here we report on new methods for studying the CoBF in a mouse model using a thin or open vessel-window in combination with fluorescence intra-vital microscopy (IVM). An open vessel-window enables investigation of vascular cell biology and blood flow permeability, including pericyte (PC) contractility, bone marrow cell migration, and endothelial barrier leakage, in wild type and fluorescent protein-labeled transgenic mouse models with high spatial and temporal resolution. Alternatively, the thin vessel-window method minimizes disruption of the homeostatic balance in the lateral wall and enables study CoBF under relatively intact physiological conditions. A thin vessel-window method can also be used for time-based studies of physiological and pathological processes. Although the small size of the mouse cochlea makes surgery difficult, the methods are sufficiently developed for studying the structural and functional changes in CoBF under normal and pathological conditions.
    Hearing research 04/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of the study was to describe and quantify the cochlear active mechanisms in individuals with Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorders (ANSD). Transient Evoked Otoacoustic Emissions (TEOAEs) were recorded in 15 individuals with ANSD and 22 individuals with normal hearing. TEOAEs were analyzed by Wavelet transform method to describe and quantify the characteristics of TEOAEs in narrow-band frequency regions. It was noted that the amplitude of TEOAEs was higher and latency slightly shorter in individuals with ANSD compared to normal hearing individuals at low and mid frequencies. The increased amplitude and reduced latencies of TEOAEs in ANSD group could be attributed to the efferent system damage, especially at low and mid frequencies seen in individuals with ANSD. Thus, wavelet analysis of TEOAEs proves to be another important tool to understand the patho-physiology in individuals with ANSD.
    Hearing research 04/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Active middle ear implants (AMEIs) have been studied to overcome the limitations of conventional hearing aids such as howling, occlusion, and social discrimination. AMEIs usually drive the oval window (OW) by means of transmitting vibrational force through the ossicles and the vibrational force corresponding to sound is generated from a mechanical actuator. Recently, round window (RW) stimulation using an AMEI such as a floating mass transducer (FMT) to deliver sound to the cochlea has been introduced and hearing improvement in clinical use has been reported. Although previous studies demonstrated that the auditory response to RW stimulation was comparable to a sound-evoked auditory response, few studies have investigated the quantification of the physiologic performance of an AMEI through RW stimulation on the inner ear in vivo. There is no established relationship between the cochlear responses and mechanical stimulation to RW. The aim of this study is to assess the physiologic response in RW stimulation by an AMEI. The transferred energy through the RW to the inner ear could estimate the response corresponding to acoustic stimulation in order to quantify the AMEI output in the ossicular chain or OW stimulation. The parameters of the auditory brainstem responses (ABRs) were measured and compared based on stapes velocities similar enough to be regarded as the same for acoustic stimulation to the external auditory canal (EAC) and mechanical stimulation to the RW in an in vivo system. In conclusion, this study showed that the amplitudes and latencies of the ABRs of acoustic and RW stimulation showed significant differences at comparable stapes velocities in an in vivo system. These differences in the ABR amplitudes and latencies reflect different output functions of the cochlea in response to different stimulation pathways. Therefore, it is necessary to develop a new method for quantifying the output of the cochlea in the case of RW stimulation.
    Hearing research 04/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Human subjects performed in several behavioral conditions requiring, or not requiring, selective attention to visual stimuli. Specifically, the attentional task was to recognize strings of digits that had been presented visually. A nonlinear version of the stimulus-frequency otoacoustic emission (SFOAE), called the nSFOAE, was collected during the visual presentation of the digits. The segment of the physiological response discussed here occurred during brief silent periods immediately following the SFOAE-evoking stimuli. For all subjects tested, the physiological-noise magnitudes were substantially weaker (less noisy) during the tasks requiring the most visual attention. Effect sizes for the differences were >2.0. Our interpretation is that cortico-olivo influences adjusted the magnitude of efferent activation during the SFOAE-evoking stimulation depending upon the attention task in effect, and then that magnitude of efferent activation persisted throughout the silent period where it also modulated the physiological noise present. Because the results were highly similar to those obtained when the behavioral conditions involved auditory attention, similar mechanisms appear to operate both across modalities and within modalities. Supplementary measurements revealed that the efferent activation was spectrally global, as it was for auditory attention.
    Hearing research 04/2014;
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In this study, a nonlinear version of the stimulus-frequency OAE (SFOAE), called the nSFOAE, was used to measure cochlear responses from human subjects while they simultaneously performed behavioral tasks requiring, or not requiring, selective auditory attention. Appended to each stimulus presentation, and included in the calculation of each nSFOAE response, was a 30-ms silent period that was used to estimate the level of the inherent physiological noise in the ear canals of our subjects during each behavioral condition. Physiological-noise magnitudes were higher (noisier) for all subjects in the inattention task, and lower (quieter) in the selective auditory-attention tasks. These noise measures initially were made at the frequency of our nSFOAE probe tone (4.0 kHz), but the same attention effects also were observed across a wide range of frequencies. We attribute the observed differences in physiological-noise magnitudes between the inattention and attention conditions to different levels of efferent activation associated with the differing attentional demands of the behavioral tasks. One hypothesis is that when the attentional demand is relatively great, efferent activation is relatively high, and a decrease in the gain of the cochlear amplifier leads to lower-amplitude cochlear activity, and thus a smaller measure of noise from the ear.
    Hearing research 04/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Mechanical stimulation of the round window (RW) of the cochlea is successfully done with the Vibrant Soundbridge (Med-El), but clinical outcomes show a substantial degree of variability. One source of variability is variation in the pre-load static force applied by the stimulator to the round window (Maier et al., 2013), in this study we investigate other sources of variability by maintaining a constant static-force pre-load while investigating the effect of a coupler device and the interposition of soft tissue between the stimulator and the RW. Experimental METHODS: The stapes footplate displacement produced by stimulation of the round window was determined in fresh human temporal bones. The response to sound and actuator stimulation was measured with a Laser Doppler Velocimeter at the stapes footplate. The RW was stimulated by a Floating Mass Transducer (FMT) with / without (1) an additional RW coupler (supplied by the manufacturer), and (2) the interposition of TUTOPATCH(®) between the stimulator and the RW, while maintaining a pre-load of ∼ 1.96 mN. In 8 temporal bones with normal stapes footplate response to sound, we found under controlled conditions an average 11.9 dB increase (500 Hz - 2 kHz) by using the coupler with the interposition, being statistically significant at 500 Hz (p < 0.01). Additionally, the coupler/interposition combination reduced the variability between experiments (FMT alone SD = 10.9 dB; FMT with TUTOPATCH(®) & coupler: SD = 3.4 dB @ 500Hz) and increased the repeatability. At controlled static force an improved output level, inter-subject variability and repeatability is found by using a coupler / TUTOPATCH combination in RW stimulation with the FMT. The obtained reduction in variability demonstrated that the high variability found in clinical experience is not due to inter-subject variability, but to coupling conditions and can be optimized further.
    Hearing research 04/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The binaural cues used by terrestrial animals for sound localization in azimuth may not always suffice for accurate sound localization underwater. The purpose of this research was to examine the theoretical limits of interaural timing and level differences available underwater using computational and physical models. A paired-hydrophone system was used to record sounds transmitted underwater and recordings were analyzed using neural networks calibrated to reflect the auditory capabilities of terrestrial mammals. Estimates of source direction based on temporal differences were most accurate for frequencies between 0.5-1.75 kHz, with greater resolution toward the midline (2°), and lower resolution toward the periphery (9°). Level cues also changed systematically with source azimuth, even at lower frequencies than expected from theoretical calculations, suggesting that binaural mechanical coupling (e.g., through bone conduction) might, in principle, facilitate underwater sound localization. Overall, the relatively limited ability of the model to estimate source position using temporal and level difference cues underwater suggests that animals such as whales may use additional cues to accurately localize conspecifics and predators at long distances.
    Hearing research 04/2014;