Reaction times at the auditory threshold: A comparison between adults with normal hearing and adults with hearing loss
Journal/Book: Laryngo Rhino Otol. 1996; 75: P O Box 30 11 20, D-70451 Stuttgart, Germany. Georg Thieme Verlag. 135-140.
Abstract: Background: The purpose of the study was to examine the latencies between tonal stimuli and response of normal ears at the threshold compared with ears with a frequency-specific threshold above 70 dB. Patients and methods: Reaction times to tonal stimuli of 122 adults with normal hearing and adults with hearing loss were compared at the threshold of hearing to reaction times beyond the threshold. The study group of tested patients was divided into four groups corresponding to the frequency-specific hearing loss on the basis of previous audiometric investigations. Results: The results reveal that response latencies in ears with normal hearing asymptomatically approach the auditory threshold. In contrast, we failed to measure a significant prolongation of reaction times in presence of extensive hearing loss (above 70 dB) even at the minimum level of auditory perception. In the presence of extensive hearing loss (above 70 dB), we detected a significantly lower rise of threshold response latencies at normal audiometric frequencies than in normal ears. Conclusion: The reaction time results are evaluated, and the possible role of the outer hair cells are discussed.
Note: Article B Hustert, Univ Munster, Hals Nasen Ohren Klin, Kardinal Von Galen Ring 10, D-48129 Munster, Germany
Keyword(s): reaction time; auditory threshold; normal hearing; extensive hearing loss; OUTER HAIR CELLS; ABSENCE