Otoacoustic Emissions: A Review on Existing Human Auditory System Modelling Approaches

Tshegofatso Thejane, Fulufhelo V. Nelwamondo, Tendani C. Malumedzha, and Tshilidzi Marwala


Biometric potential of OAEs, Electric modelling, Finite element modelling (FEM), Inner Ear, Middle Ear, Otoacoustic Emissions (OAEs)


A review of the existing electric and finite element models of the human auditory periphery is presented.The models are critiqued and compared with the consideration of how accurate they model the generation of otoacoustic emissions (OAEs). The most comprehensive electric model was found to be an analogue circuit model that represents the mobile mechanism of the outer hair cells (OHCs) as an active voltage source. A corresponding finite element model that models sound transmission from the ear canal to the cochlea was found to potentially be sufficient for otoacoustic emissions (OAEs) study, provided that it is modified to include the outer hair cells. The finite element approach proved to give a more accurate representation of the geometry of most of the ear components while the electroacoustic approach proved to incorporate more parts of the ear, such as the concha, the diffraction system as well as the OHCs. Auditory modeling may provide a different approach to investigating OAEs through the use of comprehensive models. With a more appropriate non-invasive model verification technique incorporated, the models may also be used to study the biometric potential of OAEs.

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