From derived-band envelope-following responses to individualized models of near- and supra-threshold hearing deficits
Auditory models which include frequency-dependent profiles of near and supra-threshold hearing deficits can aid the design of individualized hearing- aid algorithms. However, determining individual auditory-nerve (AN) fiber loss parameters is controversial as diagnostic metrics are presently based on auditory brainstem responses (ABRs) or envelope following responses (EFRs). These measures do not necessarily yield a frequency-specific quantification and might be affected by both outer-hair-cell and AN damage. We developed a derived-band EFR (DBEFR) metric to offer a frequency- specific assessment and complemented these with click-evoked otoacoustic emissions and audiometry. Cochlear-gain-loss profiles were derived from the latter measurements and inserted into individualized models, in which different synaptopathy profiles were introduced and DBEFRs simulated. Using a clustering technique, the best match between experimental and simulated synaptopathy profiles was determined and validated using the ABR data collected from the same listener. Results showed promise in offering a method to determine individualized sensorineural hearing-loss profile given a limited number of objective metrics.
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