A computational model of the auditory periphery applicable to round window stimulation

Authors: Zhaohai Liu1, Wen Liu2, Jie Wang3,4, Houguang Liu5

1School of Mechatronic Engineering, China University of Mining and Technology
2Department of Otolaryngology, Affiliated Hospital of Xuzhou Medical University
3Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Beijing Tongren Hospital Affiliated to Capital Medical University
4Beijing Engineering Research Center of Hearing Technology
5School of Mechatronic Engineering, China University of Mining and Technology

Background: Round window stimulation is an application of the active middle ear implant. The round win-dow stimulation not only overcomes the shortcomings of the traditional hearing aids, but also avoids the need for an ossicular chain, so it can effectively compensate for mixed hearing loss. In order to further im-prove the hearing compensation performance of the round window stimulation, a computational model of the auditory periphery is required as a means of evaluating the effect of hearing compensation. However, previous models were not considered for cochlear third windows and used stapes velocity as the input to the inner ear model, so they are unable to simulate round window stimulation. Therefore, a computational mod-el of the auditory periphery applicable to round window stimulation was established.

Method: The computational model of the auditory periphery consists of an outer ear model, a middle ear model, and an inner ear model. The outer ear model is simulated by 600-order finite pulse filter. The middle ear model is a lumped parameter model with third windows that is able to simulate acoustic stimulation and round window stimulation. The inner ear model includes the fluid coupling, the cochlear micromechanics model and outer hair cell model.

Results: The results showed that the model-predicted results are in good agreement with the experimental data, such as the outer ear transfer function, the forward and reverse transfer function, and the frequency-place map. In addition, the model-predicted results match well with experimental data on hearing loss such as outer hair cell damage and otosclerosis.

Conclusion: The computational model of the auditory periphery is able to simulate the response of the hu-man ear under the acoustic stimulation and round window stimulation, and is capable of simulating the conductive hearing loss, such as otosclerosis, and sensorineural hearing loss, such as injured outer hair cell cochlea.