Abstract and Keywords
This article seeks to introduce the nature, origin, and applications of externally observable correlates of normal cochlear function, which are, otoacoustic emissions, cochlear input impedance, cochlear microphonic, cochlear summating potential, and auditory compound action potential. It takes a biophysical approach to introduce each cochlear response. The article focuses on the otoacoustic responses of the cochlea, because these responses describe the most vulnerable cochlear mechanism on which high sensitivity depends and which is most commonly found to be disabled in cases of hearing impairment, and also because otoacoustic responses are the least well understood. Hearing is an energetic process generating acoustic and electrical signals that can be externally recorded and used for clinical and research purposes. This article describes the cochlear amplifier mechanism and the resulting otoacoustic emissions, to give a compact overview of cochlear function to allow the deduction of the kind of responses that might be measurable outside the cochlea.
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