Audiologic characterization using clinical physiological measures: Normative data from macaque monkeys

Hear Res. 2022 Oct:424:108568. doi: 10.1016/j.heares.2022.108568. Epub 2022 Jul 12.


Clinical auditory physiological measures (e.g., auditory brainstem responses, ABRs, and distortion product otoacoustic emissions, DPOAEs) provide diagnostic specificity for differentially diagnosing overt hearing impairments, but they remain limited in their ability to detect specific sites of lesion and subtle levels of cochlear damage. Studies in animal models may hold the key to improve differential diagnosis due to the ability to induce tightly controlled and histologically verifiable subclinical cochlear pathologies. Here, we present a normative set of traditional and clinically novel physiological measures using ABRs and DPOAEs measured in a large cohort of male macaque monkeys. Given the high similarities between macaque and human auditory anatomy, physiology, and susceptibility to hearing damage, this normative data set will serve as a crucial baseline to investigate novel physiological measures to improve diagnostics. DPOAE amplitudes were robust at f2 = 1.22, L1/L2 = 65/55, increased with frequency up to 10 kHz, and exhibited high test re-test reliability. DPOAE thresholds were lowest from 2-10 kHz and highest < 2 kHz. ABRs with a standard clinical electrode montage (vertex-to-mastoid, VM) produced Waves I-IV with a less frequently observed Wave-I, and lower thresholds. ABRs with a vertex-to-tympanic membrane (VT) electrode montage produced a more robust Wave-I, but absent Waves II-IV and higher thresholds. Further study with the VM montage revealed amplitudes that increased with stimulus level and were largest in response to click stimuli, with Wave-II showing the largest ABR amplitude, followed by -IV and -I, with high inter- and intra-subject variability. ABR wave latencies decreased with stimulus level and frequency. When stimulus presentation rate increased or stimuli were presented in close temporal proximity, ABR amplitude decreased, and latency increased. These findings expand upon existing literature of normative clinical physiological data in nonhuman primates and lay the groundwork for future studies investigating the effects of noise-induced pathologies in macaques.

Keywords: Physiology; auditory brainstem response; distortion product otoacoustic emissions; electrophysiology; nonhuman primates; peripheral auditory function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Auditory Threshold / physiology
  • Evoked Potentials, Auditory, Brain Stem / physiology
  • Haplorhini
  • Humans
  • Macaca*
  • Male
  • Otoacoustic Emissions, Spontaneous* / physiology
  • Reproducibility of Results