Cortical fNIRS Responses Can Be Better Explained by Loudness Percept than Sound Intensity.

Weder, Stefan; Shoushtarian, Mehrnaz; Olivares, Virginia; Zhou, Xin; Innes-Brown, Hamish; McKay, Colette (2020). Cortical fNIRS Responses Can Be Better Explained by Loudness Percept than Sound Intensity. Ear and hearing, 41(5), pp. 1187-1195. Wolters Kluwer Health 10.1097/AUD.0000000000000836

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OBJECTIVES

Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) is a brain imaging technique particularly suitable for hearing studies. However, the nature of fNIRS responses to auditory stimuli presented at different stimulus intensities is not well understood. In this study, we investigated whether fNIRS response amplitude was better predicted by stimulus properties (intensity) or individually perceived attributes (loudness).

DESIGN

Twenty-two young adults were included in this experimental study. Four different stimulus intensities of a broadband noise were used as stimuli. First, loudness estimates for each stimulus intensity were measured for each participant. Then, the 4 stimulation intensities were presented in counterbalanced order while recording hemoglobin saturation changes from cortical auditory brain areas. The fNIRS response was analyzed in a general linear model design, using 3 different regressors: a non-modulated, an intensity-modulated, and a loudness-modulated regressor.

RESULTS

Higher intensity stimuli resulted in higher amplitude fNIRS responses. The relationship between stimulus intensity and fNIRS response amplitude was better explained using a regressor based on individually estimated loudness estimates compared with a regressor modulated by stimulus intensity alone.

CONCLUSIONS

Brain activation in response to different stimulus intensities is more reliant upon individual loudness sensation than physical stimulus properties. Therefore, in measurements using different auditory stimulus intensities or subjective hearing parameters, loudness estimates should be examined when interpreting results.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Head Organs and Neurology (DKNS) > Clinic of Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders (ENT)

UniBE Contributor:

Weder, Stefan

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health

ISSN:

0196-0202

Publisher:

Wolters Kluwer Health

Language:

English

Submitter:

Stefan Weder

Date Deposited:

13 Jan 2021 16:02

Last Modified:

24 Jan 2021 02:30

Publisher DOI:

10.1097/AUD.0000000000000836

PubMed ID:

31985534

BORIS DOI:

10.48350/150343

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/150343

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