Group and Individual Differences in Audition

Summary

Principal Investigator: D McFadden
Abstract: The long-term objective of this research is to better understand certain individual and group differences in audition. One of the group differences of interest is sex differences. Many auditory measures-some physiological and some behavioral (psychophysical)-exhibit large sex differences. Among the former are otoacoustic emissions (OAEs), which are sounds produced by the inner ear. Because sex differences exist in the OAEs of infants and children as well as in adults, they must originate, at least in part, during prenatal development. Because many other sex differences in body, brain, and behavior are known to be produced by differential exposure to androgens during prenatal development, the implication is that the sex differences in OAEs also are produced by differential androgen exposure. One goal of the planned research is to determine exactly what the large sex and individual differences in OAEs mean for performance on various psychophysical tasks. For example, what psychophysical tasks benefit from strong OAEs? Along with young-adult listeners having normal hearing, monozygotic (MZ) female twins and opposite-sex dizygotic (OSDZ) female twins will be tested because these special populations have been shown to have atypically strong and weak OAEs, respectively. This work is relevant to public health because knowledge of the relationships between physiological and psychophysical measures of hearing will reveal what aspects of auditory perception will be impaired in a person (say, an infant) having weak OAEs, and that information should eventually be beneficial during intervention. Also, this work is in accord with the primary goal of modern neuroscience which is to learn more about the relationships between physiological measures and behavior. These studies also will provide additional evidence on the implication that the inner ear can be affected by exposure to androgens early in development. In one of the planned studies, auditory evoked potentials (AEPs)-another physiological measure exhibiting sex differences-will be measured in children having attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We have already shown that some of these children have OAEs suggesting that they were exposed to high levels of androgens at some point early in development, and it is important to know if AEP measures confirm this finding. If so, theory, diagnosis, treatment, and nosology for ADHD could be affected.
Funding Period: ----------------1979 - ---------------2011-
more information: NIH RePORT

Top Publications

  1. pmc Selective attention reduces physiological noise in the external ear canals of humans. II: visual attention
    Kyle P Walsh
    Department of Psychology, Center for Perceptual Systems, 1 University Station A8000, University of Texas, Austin, TX 78712 1043, United States Electronic address
    Hear Res 312:160-7. 2014
  2. pmc Selective attention reduces physiological noise in the external ear canals of humans. I: auditory attention
    Kyle P Walsh
    Department of Psychology and Center for Perceptual Systems, 1 University Station A8000, University of Texas, Austin, TX 78712 0187, USA Electronic address
    Hear Res 312:143-59. 2014
  3. pmc Comparing behavioral and physiological measures of combination tones: sex and race differences
    Dennis McFadden
    Department of Psychology and Center for Perceptual Systems, University of Texas, Austin, 108 East Dean Keeton, A8000, Austin, Texas 78712 1043, USA
    J Acoust Soc Am 132:968-83. 2012
  4. pmc Dissociation between distortion-product and click-evoked otoacoustic emissions in sheep (Ovis aries)
    Dennis McFadden
    Department of Psychology and Center for Perceptual Systems, University of Texas, Austin, Texas 78712 0187, USA
    J Acoust Soc Am 124:3730-8. 2008
  5. pmc Relationships between otoacoustic emissions and a proxy measure of cochlear length derived from the auditory brainstem response
    Dennis McFadden
    Department of Psychology and Center for Perceptual Systems, 108 E Dean Keeton, A8000, University of Texas, Austin, TX 78712 1043, USA
    Hear Res 289:63-73. 2012
  6. pmc Sexual orientation and the auditory system
    Dennis McFadden
    Department of Psychology and Center for Perceptual Systems, 1 University Station A8000, University of Texas, Austin, TX 78712 0187, USA
    Front Neuroendocrinol 32:201-13. 2011
  7. pmc Overshoot using very short signal delays
    Dennis McFadden
    Department of Psychology and Center for Perceptual Systems, University of Texas, 1 University Station A8000, Austin, Texas 78712 0187, USA
    J Acoust Soc Am 128:1915-21. 2010
  8. pmc Differences by sex, ear, and sexual orientation in the time intervals between successive peaks in auditory evoked potentials
    Dennis McFadden
    Department of Psychology, Seay Building, University of Texas, Austin, TX 78712 0187, USA
    Hear Res 270:56-64. 2010
  9. pmc Overshoot measured physiologically and psychophysically in the same human ears
    Kyle P Walsh
    Department of Psychology, Center for Perceptual Systems, Seay Building, 1 University Station, A8000, University of Texas, Austin, TX 78712 0187, USA
    Hear Res 268:22-37. 2010
  10. pmc Masculinization of the mammalian cochlea
    Dennis McFadden
    Department of Psychology and Center for Perceptual Systems, University of Texas at Austin, Seay Building, 1 University Station, A8000, Austin, TX 78712 0187, USA
    Hear Res 252:37-48. 2009

Scientific Experts

Detail Information

Publications13

  1. pmc Selective attention reduces physiological noise in the external ear canals of humans. II: visual attention
    Kyle P Walsh
    Department of Psychology, Center for Perceptual Systems, 1 University Station A8000, University of Texas, Austin, TX 78712 1043, United States Electronic address
    Hear Res 312:160-7. 2014
    ..Supplementary measurements revealed that the efferent activation was spectrally global, as it was for auditory attention...
  2. pmc Selective attention reduces physiological noise in the external ear canals of humans. I: auditory attention
    Kyle P Walsh
    Department of Psychology and Center for Perceptual Systems, 1 University Station A8000, University of Texas, Austin, TX 78712 0187, USA Electronic address
    Hear Res 312:143-59. 2014
    ....
  3. pmc Comparing behavioral and physiological measures of combination tones: sex and race differences
    Dennis McFadden
    Department of Psychology and Center for Perceptual Systems, University of Texas, Austin, 108 East Dean Keeton, A8000, Austin, Texas 78712 1043, USA
    J Acoust Soc Am 132:968-83. 2012
    ..For many subjects, then, most of the DPOAE measured in the ear canal apparently is not related to the combination-tone cue that is masked by the narrowband noise...
  4. pmc Dissociation between distortion-product and click-evoked otoacoustic emissions in sheep (Ovis aries)
    Dennis McFadden
    Department of Psychology and Center for Perceptual Systems, University of Texas, Austin, Texas 78712 0187, USA
    J Acoust Soc Am 124:3730-8. 2008
    ..In sheep, androgen exposure appears to have different effects on the mechanisms underlying DPOAEs from those underlying CEOAEs...
  5. pmc Relationships between otoacoustic emissions and a proxy measure of cochlear length derived from the auditory brainstem response
    Dennis McFadden
    Department of Psychology and Center for Perceptual Systems, 108 E Dean Keeton, A8000, University of Texas, Austin, TX 78712 1043, USA
    Hear Res 289:63-73. 2012
    ..Head size was not highly correlated with any of the ABR measures...
  6. pmc Sexual orientation and the auditory system
    Dennis McFadden
    Department of Psychology and Center for Perceptual Systems, 1 University Station A8000, University of Texas, Austin, TX 78712 0187, USA
    Front Neuroendocrinol 32:201-13. 2011
    ..Collectively, the evidence suggests that prenatal androgens, acting globally or locally, affect both nonheterosexuality and the auditory system...
  7. pmc Overshoot using very short signal delays
    Dennis McFadden
    Department of Psychology and Center for Perceptual Systems, University of Texas, 1 University Station A8000, Austin, Texas 78712 0187, USA
    J Acoust Soc Am 128:1915-21. 2010
    ..This result provides further support for the hypothesis that the MOC efferent system makes a major contribution to overshoot in simultaneous masking...
  8. pmc Differences by sex, ear, and sexual orientation in the time intervals between successive peaks in auditory evoked potentials
    Dennis McFadden
    Department of Psychology, Seay Building, University of Texas, Austin, TX 78712 0187, USA
    Hear Res 270:56-64. 2010
    ..e., interval length early in the AEP series was not highly predictive of interval length later in the series. Interpeak intervals appear generally less informative than raw latencies about differences by sex and by sexual orientation...
  9. pmc Overshoot measured physiologically and psychophysically in the same human ears
    Kyle P Walsh
    Department of Psychology, Center for Perceptual Systems, Seay Building, 1 University Station, A8000, University of Texas, Austin, TX 78712 0187, USA
    Hear Res 268:22-37. 2010
    ..Overall, the evidence suggests that some basic characteristics of overshoot are obligatory consequences of cochlear function, as modulated by the olivocochlear efferent system...
  10. pmc Masculinization of the mammalian cochlea
    Dennis McFadden
    Department of Psychology and Center for Perceptual Systems, University of Texas at Austin, Seay Building, 1 University Station, A8000, Austin, TX 78712 0187, USA
    Hear Res 252:37-48. 2009
    ..Some non-hormonal factors possibly capable of producing sex and group differences are discussed, and some speculations are offered about specific cochlear structures that might differ between the two sexes...
  11. pmc Sex differences in distortion-product and transient-evoked otoacoustic emissions compared
    Dennis McFadden
    Department of Psychology and Center for Perceptual Systems, University of Texas, 1 University Station A8000, Austin, Texas 78712 0187, USA
    J Acoust Soc Am 125:239-46. 2009
    ..We discuss the possibility that differences in the effective level of the stimuli may contribute to these outcomes...
  12. pmc Effect of prenatal androgens on click-evoked otoacoustic emissions in male and female sheep (Ovis aries)
    Dennis McFadden
    Department of Psychology and Center for Perceptual Systems, University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station A8000, Austin, TX 78712 0187, USA
    Horm Behav 55:98-105. 2009
    ..No spontaneous otoacoustic emissions (SOAEs) were found in any ears, a common finding in non-human species. To our knowledge, this is the first ruminant species measured for OAEs...
  13. pmc Sex and race differences in the relative lengths of metacarpals and metatarsals in human skeletons
    Dennis McFadden
    Department of Psychology and Center for Perceptual Systems, University of Texas, Austin, Texas, 78712 0187, USA
    Early Hum Dev 85:117-24. 2009
    ..Previous research has revealed that the ratios of the lengths of various pairs of human fingers differ in males and females...