J Am Acad Audiol 2005; 16(08): 530-545
DOI: 10.3766/jaaa.16.8.2
American Academy of Audiology. All rights reserved. (2005) American Academy of Audiology

Acceptable Noise Level, Phoneme Recognition in Noise, and Measures of Auditory Efferent Activity

Ashley W. Harkrider
Steven Brad Smith
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Publication Date:
07 August 2020 (online)

Acceptable noise level (ANL) is unrelated to sentence recognition in noise but may be related to phoneme recognition in noise (PRN). Individual differences in efferent activity in medial olivocochlear bundle (MOCB) and acoustic reflex (AR) pathways may account for intersubject variability in ANL and PRN. Monotic and dichotic ANL, monotic PRN, contralateral suppression of transient evoked otoacoustic emissions, and ipsilateral and contralateral acoustic reflex thresholds were measured in 31 adults with normal hearing. Results indicate that monotic ANL and PRN are unrelated. Monotic and dichotic ANL are related, suggesting that nonperipheral factors mediate ANL. Intersubject variability in ANL cannot be accounted for by individual differences in MOCB or AR activation. Intersubject variability in PRN cannot be accounted for by individual differences in MOCB or contralateral AR activation. It may be influenced by the ipsilateral AR pathway. Efferent activity in the contralateral AR arc is correlated with efferent activity in the MOCB.