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Nonlinear Vibration Response Measured at Umbo and Stapes in the Rabbit Middle ear


Using laser vibrometry and a stimulation and signal analysis method based on multisines, we have measured the response and the nonlinearities in the vibration of the rabbit middle ear at the level of the umbo and the stapes. With our method, we were able to detect and quantify nonlinearities starting at sound pressure levels of 93-dB SPL. The current results show that no significant additional nonlinearity is generated as the vibration signal is passed through the middle ear chain. Nonlinearities are most prominent in the lower frequencies (125 Hz to 1 kHz), where their level is about 40 dB below the vibration response. The level of nonlinearities rises with a factor of nearly 2 as a function of sound pressure level, indicating that they may become important at very high sound pressure levels such as those used in high-power hearing aids.

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The authors wish to thank Fred Wiese and William Deblauwe for their assistance with the measurement setup.

This work was supported by the Research Foundation Flanders—Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (FWO).

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to John Peacock.

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Peacock, J., Pintelon, R. & Dirckx, J. Nonlinear Vibration Response Measured at Umbo and Stapes in the Rabbit Middle ear. JARO 16, 569–580 (2015).

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  • middle ear
  • nonlinear distortions
  • laser vibrometry
  • multisine