Estimation of bone conduction skull transmission by hearing thresholds and ear-canal sound pressure
Journal article, 2013
Bone conduction sound transmission in the human skull and the occlusion effect were estimated from hearing thresholds and ear-canal sound pressure (ECSP) measured by a probe tube microphone when stimulation was at three positions on the skull (ipsilateral mastoid, contralateral mastoid, and forehead). The measurements were done with the ear-canal open as well as occluded by an ear-plug. Depending on the estimation method, transcranial transmission at frequencies below 1 kHz was between -8 and 5 dB, around 0 dB at 1 kHz that decreased with frequency to between -17 and -7 dB at 8 kHz. The forehead transmission was, except at frequencies between 1 and 2 kHz, similar to that proposed in the standard ISO:389-3 (1994) when the threshold measurements were conducted with open ear-canals. Compared with the same measurements using hearing thresholds, the ECSP gave similar transmission results at most frequencies, but differed at 0.5, 0.75, 2 and 3 kHz. One probable reason for the differences between thresholds and ECSP might be a significant perception improvement (lower thresholds) when the stimulation was at the ipsilateral mastoid that was not found at the other positions. This improvement, which also was present in the occlusion effect data, was hypothesized to originate in greater sensitivity of the cochlea for vibration in line with the ipsilateral stimulation direction than from other directions.