The Effect of the 226-Hz Probe Level on Contralateral Acoustic Stapedius Reflex Thresholds Purpose The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of the 226-Hz probe level on the acoustic stapedius reflex threshold. Method Contralateral reflex thresholds for a 1000-Hz pure-tone stimulus were obtained from 40 young adults with normal hearing using an experimental system at four 226-Hz probe ... Research Article
Research Article  |   August 01, 2008
The Effect of the 226-Hz Probe Level on Contralateral Acoustic Stapedius Reflex Thresholds
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jessica E. Day
    University of Washington, Seattle
  • M. Patrick Feeney
    University of Washington, Seattle
  • Contact author: Jessica E. Day, Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, University of Washington, Box 354875, Seattle, WA 98195-4875. E-mail: jed2@u.washington.edu.
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Hearing Disorders / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 2008
The Effect of the 226-Hz Probe Level on Contralateral Acoustic Stapedius Reflex Thresholds
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2008, Vol. 51, 1016-1025. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/074)
History: Received August 13, 2006 , Revised January 17, 2007 , Accepted December 20, 2007
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2008, Vol. 51, 1016-1025. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/074)
History: Received August 13, 2006; Revised January 17, 2007; Accepted December 20, 2007
Web of Science® Times Cited: 3

Purpose The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of the 226-Hz probe level on the acoustic stapedius reflex threshold.

Method Contralateral reflex thresholds for a 1000-Hz pure-tone stimulus were obtained from 40 young adults with normal hearing using an experimental system at four 226-Hz probe levels (70, 75, 80, and 85 dB SPL) with a repeated measures experimental design.

Results A repeated measures analysis of variance revealed that as the probe level increased over this 15-dB range, there was a mean decrease in reflex threshold of 2.5 dB SPL (p < .001), with the largest decrease for an individual participant of 12 dB.

Conclusion The results suggest that the level of the 226-Hz probe tone as used in clinical reflex measurements and as specified in the American National Standards Institute (1987)  standard is sufficiently high to affect the acoustic reflex by facilitating its activation. The effect is small, on average, but may be of clinical significance for some individuals.

Acknowledgments
This study was completed in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the first author’s Au.D. thesis at the University of Washington under the direction of the second author. This research was funded by the 2003 Student Research Grant in Audiology from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation, awarded to the first author.
The authors wish to thank Intelligent Hearing Systems for providing the experimental reflex system used in this study and Rafael Delgado for helpful discussions on calibration issues. We thank Robert Margolis and Chris Sanford for providing helpful comments on a previous version of the article and Douglas Keefe for suggestions on the conversion from a change in dB to a change in equivalent volume. We also thank Aimee Verrall and Shane Day for statistical consultation.
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