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Transient-evoked otoacoustic emissions (TEOAE) are acoustic signals coming from the inner ear (outer hair cells of the cochlea) after acoustic stimulation by clicks. They can be used to investigate the status of the peripheral hearing system. Some of their potential applications (e.g., their use as a tool in newborn hearing screening programs) are deeply related to the duration of each recording session. This duration can be strongly reduced by applying a principal component analysis approach to a set of TEOAE recorded from the same ear at different stimulus levels averaging only a few sweeps (a maximum of 100 versus the classical 260). The PCA approach is shown to be able to enhance the signal-to-noise ratio and, in turn, to allow a correct detection of the responses. Results of the application of this approach in comparison with responses recorded from the same subjects with the classical technique are shown.
Date of Publication: Feb. 2003