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Publication Detail
Plasticity and modified loudness following short-term unilateral deprivation: evidence of multiple gain mechanisms within the auditory system.
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
    Journal Article
  • Authors:
    Munro KJ, Turtle C, Schaette R
  • Publication date:
  • Pagination:
    315, 322
  • Journal:
    J Acoust Soc Am
  • Volume:
  • Issue:
  • Status:
  • Country:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Keywords:
    Acoustic Stimulation, Adult, Audiometry, Pure-Tone, Auditory Pathways, Ear Protective Devices, Female, Humans, Judgment, Loudness Perception, Male, Neuronal Plasticity, Pressure, Recovery of Function, Reflex, Acoustic, Sensory Deprivation, Sound, Time Factors, Young Adult
Auditory deprivation and stimulation can change the threshold of the acoustic middle ear reflex as well as loudness in adult listeners. However, it has remained unclear whether changes in these measures are due to the same mechanism. In this study, deprivation was achieved using a monaural earplug that was worn by listeners for 7 days. Acoustic reflex thresholds (ARTs) and categorical loudness ratings were measured using a blinded design in which the experimenter was unaware of which ear had been plugged. Immediately after terminating unilateral deprivation, ARTs were obtained at a lower sound pressure level in the ear that had been fitted with an earplug and at a higher sound pressure level in the control ear. In contrast, categorical judgments of loudness changed in the same direction in both ears with a given stimulus level reported as louder after unilateral deprivation. The relationship between changes to the ART and loudness judgments was not statistically significant. For both the ARTs and the categorical loudness judgments, most of the changes had disappeared within 24 h after earplug removal. The changes in ARTs, as a consequence of unilateral sound deprivation, are consistent with a gain control mechanism; however, the lack of relationship with the categorical loudness judgments, and the different pattern of findings for each measure, suggests the possibility of multiple gain mechanisms.
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