This electrophysiological study investigated the role of the medial olivocochlear (MOC) efferents in listening in noise. Both ears of eleven normal-hearing adult participants were tested. The physiological tests consisted of transient-evoked otoacoustic emission (TEOAE) inhibition and the measurement of cortical event-related potentials (ERPs). The mismatch negativity (MMN) and P300 responses were obtained in passive and active listening tasks, respectively. Behavioral responses for the word recognition in noise test were also analyzed. Consistent with previous findings, the TEOAE data showed significant inhibition in the presence of contralateral acoustic stimulation. However, performance in the word recognition in noise test was comparable for the two conditions (i.e., without contralateral stimulation and with contralateral stimulation). Peak latencies and peak amplitudes of MMN and P300 did not show changes with contralateral stimulation. Behavioral performance was also maintained in the P300 task. Together, the results show that the peripheral auditory efferent effects captured via otoacoustic emission (OAE) inhibition might not necessarily be reflected in measures of central cortical processing and behavioral performance. As the MOC effects may not play a role in all listening situations in adults, the functional significance of the cochlear effects of the medial olivocochlear efferents and the optimal conditions conducive to corresponding effects in behavioral and cortical responses remain to be elucidated.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was made possible through a grant-in-aid grant from the University of Minnesota to the first author (A.R.). Zhang was additionally supported by the University of Minnesota?s Grand Challenges Exploratory Research Project award.
Funding: This study was made possible through a grant-in-aid grant from the University of Minnesota to the first author (A.R.). Zhang was additionally supported by the University of Minnesota’s Grand Challenges Exploratory Research Project award.
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
- Contralateral acoustic stimulation (CAS)
- Event-related potential (ERP)
- Medial olivocochlear (MOC) efferents
- Otoacoustic emissions inhibition
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article