Assessment of ability to discriminate frequency of bone-conducted ultrasound by mismatch fields.Neurosci Lett. 2008 Jun 20; 438(2):260-2.NL
According to previous studies, ultrasound can be perceived through bone conduction and ultrasound amplitude modulated by different speech sounds can be discriminated by some profoundly deaf subjects as well as the normal-hearing. These findings suggest the usefulness of development of a bone-conducted ultrasonic hearing aid (BCUHA) for profoundly deaf subjects. In this study, with a view to developing a frequency modulation system in a BCUHA, the capability to discriminate the frequency of sinusoidal bone-conducted ultrasound (BCU) was evaluated by measuring mismatch fields (MMF). We compared MMFs between BCU (standard stimuli were 30 kHz, and deviant stimuli were 27 and 33 kHz) and air-conducted audible sound (ACAS; standard stimuli were 1 kHz, and deviant stimuli were 900 and 1100 Hz). MMFs were observed in all subjects for ACAS, however, not observed in a few subjects for BCU. Further, the mean peak amplitudes of MMF for BCU were significantly less than those for ACAS. These findings indicate that the discrimination capability of frequency of sinusoidal BCU is inferior to that of ACAS. It was also demonstrated that normal hearing could to some extent discriminate differences in frequency in sinusoidal BCU. The results indicate a possibility of transmission system for language information making use of frequency discrimination.