Evaluating Adaptation and Olivocochlear Efferent Feedback as Potential Explanations of Psychophysical Overshoot
This study examines the relationship between a temporal masking effect and cochlear hearing impairment. The threshold level of a long-duration broadband masker needed to mask a short-duration tonal signal was measured for signals presented 2 ms (short-delay) or 202 ms (long-delay condition) after masker onset. The difference between these thresholds is the temporal effect. In two previous studies with normal-hearing listeners, estimates of gain of the cochlear active process derived from such data suggested a decrease in gain during the course of the masker. This hypothesis was further examined in the present study by testing listeners with mild to moderate cochlear hearing impairment. Results are consistent with a decrease in gain in the short-delay condition with increasing hearing impairment, and also less change in gain with increasing hearing impairment.