No change in the acoustic reflex threshold and auditory brainstem response following short-term acoustic stimulation in normal hearing adults.
AbstractUnilateral auditory deprivation or stimulation can induce changes in loudness and modify the sound level required to elicit the acoustic reflex. This has been explained in terms of a change in neural response, or gain, for a given sound level. However, it is unclear if these changes are driven by the asymmetry in auditory input or if they will also occur following bilateral changes in auditory input. The present study used a cross-over trial of unilateral and bilateral amplification to investigate changes in the acoustic reflex thresholds (ARTs) and the auditory brainstem response (ABR) in normal hearing listeners. Each treatment lasted 7 days and there was a 7-day washout period between the treatments. There was no significant change in the ART or ABR with either treatment. This null finding may have occurred because the amplification was insufficient to induce experience-related changes to the ABR and ART. Based on the null findings from the present study, and evidence of a change in ART in previous unilateral hearing aid use in normal hearing listeners, the threshold to trigger adaptive changes appears to be around 5 days of amplification with real ear insertion gain greater than 13-17 dB.