The present study has two aims: to define the visual attention effect on evoked otoacoustic emissions (EOAEs) found in several previous studies: a first experiment sought to determine the conditions necessary to produce such an effect, and found that, neither the complexity nor the duration of the task modified results obtained under attention conditions. The second experiment sought to characterize the great intersubject variation found in most visual attention studies; two possible explanations are discussed: medial efferent system activity, assessed through the recording of otoacoustic emissions, or subject "attention profile" as drawn from a questionnaire.
"The substantial difference in the absolute level of the DPOAEs recorded under the same auditory-attending conditions in Experiments 1 and 2 highlights the inter-subject variability evident in the recordings and illustrates the need to compare across conditions within a subject and given test session. This finding is consistent with reports from other investigators (c.f., Meric et al., 1996). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent studies lead to the conclusion that focused attention, through the activity of corticofugal and medial olivocochlear (MOC) efferent pathways, modulates activity at the most peripheral aspects of the auditory system within the cochlea. In two experiments, we investigated the effects of different intermodal attention manipulations on the response of outer hair cells (OHCs), and the control exerted by the MOC efferent system. The effect of the MOCs on OHC activity was characterized by measuring the amplitude and rapid adaptation time course of distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs). In the first, DPOAE recordings were compared while participants were reading a book and counting the occurrence of the letter "a" (auditory-ignoring) and while counting either short- or long-duration eliciting tones (auditory-attending). In the second, DPOAEs were recorded while subjects watched muted movies with subtitles (auditory-ignoring/visual distraction) and were compared with DPOAEs recorded while subjects counted the same tones (auditory-attending) as in Experiment 1. In both Experiments 1 and 2, the absolute level of the averaged DPOAEs recorded during the auditory-ignoring condition was statistically higher than that recorded in the auditory-attending condition. Efferent-induced rapid adaptation was evident in all DPOAE contours, under all attention conditions, suggesting that two medial efferent processes act independently to determine rapid adaptation, which is unaffected by attention, and the overall DPOAE level, which is significantly affected by changes in the focus of attention.
Frontiers in Psychology 02/2012; 3:30. DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00030 · 2.80 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An eventual modulation of the afferent auditory message by the cortex is the subject of this study. To test this hypothesis, clicks (10 Hz, 100 microseconds) of white noise of 40 and 70 dB Hl were sent alternatively into the ears of normally hearing volunteers, while the brainstem evoked potentials were recorded. The subjects were asked to focus or relax their attention on one or other ear. Thirty subjects aged less than 25 years (15 men and 15 women) with normal hearing level, were split into two groups. The first group was asked to focus first on the more strongly stimulated ear (70 dB), the second group on the more weakly stimulated one (40 dB). Each subject received (1) without any instruction about attention: 40 dB on the left ear (L), 70 dB on the right ear (R); 40 dB then 70 dB bilateral; (2) 2 runs with 40 dB on the L and 70 dB on the R focussing on the most or less strongly stimulated ear; (3) a run without instruction with 70 dB on the L and 40 dB on the R, and (4) two runs with 70 dB on the L and 40 dB on the R focussing enough on the more or less strongly stimulated ear. On the evoked potentials simultaneously recorded, amplitudes and latencies of the pikes were measured and compared. From these experiments, the following elements were obtained. (1) The measured potentials were always caused by ipsilateral stimuli. (2) Focussing on left or right ear was not equivalent. (3) A gender difference appeared in the brainstem auditory responses. (4) Preferential attention paid to the left ear was more efficient than to the right one. (5) Attention can alter the whole nervous pathway with considerable lengthening of O-I, O-III, O-V, III-V, I-V but not I-III latencies. The III wave amplitude generally decreased on the side where attention was focussed while V waves seemed not to vary. These first results indicate that a cortico-efferent pathway stimulated by the attention plays a role in the auditory responses modifying the afferent message. These effects were not the same among the side focussing attention and among sex.
Archives of Physiology and Biochemistry 01/1998; 105(7):645-54. · 1.76 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The mustached bat, Pteronotus p. parnellii, has a finely tuned cochlea that rings at its resonant frequency in response to an acoustic tone pip. The decay time (DT) and frequency of these damped oscillations can be measured from the cochlear microphonic potential (CM) to study changes in cochlear mechanics. In this report, we describe phasic changes that occur in synchrony with communication sound vocalizations of the bat. Three animals with chronically implanted electrodes were studied. During the experiments, 1-2 ms tone pips were emitted from a speaker every 200 ms. This triggered a computer analysis of the resulting CM to determine the DT and cochlear resonance frequency (CRF) of the ringing. The time relative to vocalizations was determined by monitoring the output of a microphone placed near a bat's mouth. Similar results were obtained from all three bats tested. In a representative case, the average DT was 2.33 +/- 0.25 ms while the bat was quiet, but it decreased by 46% to 1.26 +/- 0.75 during vocalizations, which indicates a greater damping of the cochlear partition. Sometimes, DT started decreasing immediately before the bat vocalized. After the end of a vocalization, the return to baseline values varied from rapid (milliseconds) to gradual (1-2 seconds). The CRF also changed from baseline values during vocalization, although the amount and direction of change were not predictable. When gentamicin was administered to block the action of medial olivocochlear (MOC) efferents, DT reduction was still evident during vocalization but less pronounced. We conclude that phasic changes in damping occur in synchrony with vocalization, and that the MOC system plays a role in causing suppression. Since suppression can begin prior to vocalization, this may be a synkinetic effect, mediated by neural outflow to the ear in synchrony with neural outflow to the middle ear muscles and the muscles used for vocalization.
Hearing Research 09/1998; 122(1-2):71-81. DOI:10.1016/S0378-5955(98)00078-1 · 2.97 Impact Factor
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