Distribution of standing-wave errors in real-ear sound-level measurements.
ABSTRACT: Standing waves can cause measurement errors when sound-pressure level (SPL) measurements are performed in a closed ear canal, e.g., during probe-microphone system calibration for distortion-product otoacoustic emission (DPOAE) testing. Alternative calibration methods, such as forward-pressure level (FPL), minimize the influence of standing waves by calculating the forward-going sound waves separate from the reflections that cause errors. Previous research compared test performance (Burke et al., 2010) and threshold prediction (Rogers et al., 2010) using SPL and multiple FPL calibration conditions, and surprisingly found no significant improvements when using FPL relative to SPL, except at 8 kHz. The present study examined the calibration data collected by Burke et al. and Rogers et al. from 155 human subjects in order to describe the frequency location and magnitude of standing-wave pressure minima to see if these errors might explain trends in test performance. Results indicate that while individual results varied widely, pressure variability was larger around 4 kHz and smaller at 8 kHz, consistent with the dimensions of the adult ear canal. The present data suggest that standing-wave errors are not responsible for the historically poor (8 kHz) or good (4 kHz) performance of DPOAE measures at specific test frequencies.
Project description:Quantifying ear-canal sound level in forward pressure has been suggested as a more accurate and practical alternative to sound pressure level (SPL) calibrations used in clinical settings. The mathematical isolation of forward (and reverse) pressure requires defining the Thévenin-equivalent impedance and pressure of the sound source and characteristic impedance of the load; however, the extent to which inaccuracies in characterizing the source and/or load impact forward pressure level (FPL) calibrations has not been specifically evaluated. This study examined how commercially available probe tips and estimates of characteristic impedance impact the calculation of forward and reverse pressure in a number of test cavities with dimensions chosen to reflect human ear-canal dimensions. Results demonstrate that FPL calibration, which has already been shown to be more accurate than in situ SPL calibration, can be improved particularly around standing-wave null frequencies by refining estimates of characteristic impedance. Better estimates allow FPL to be accurately calculated at least through 10 kHz using a variety of probe tips in test cavities of different sizes, suggesting that FPL calibration can be performed in ear canals of all sizes. Additionally, FPL calibration appears a reasonable option when quantifying the levels of extended high-frequency (10-18 kHz) stimuli.
Project description:A recent study by Burke et al. [Burke M, Miguel E, Satyanath S, Dykema J, Lobell D (2009) Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 106(49):20670-20674] reports statistical evidence that the likelihood of civil wars in African countries was elevated in hotter years. A following study by Buhaug [Buhaug H (2010) Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 107(38):16477-16482] reports that a reexamination of the evidence overturns Burke et al.'s findings when alternative statistical models and alternative measures of conflict are used. We show that the conclusion by Buhaug is based on absent or incorrect statistical tests, both in model selection and in the comparison of results with Burke et al. When we implement the correct tests, we find there is no evidence presented in Buhaug that rejects the original results of Burke et al.
Project description:Probe-microphone measurements are a reliable method of verifying hearing-aid sound pressure level (SPL) in the ear canal for frequencies between 0.25 and 4 kHz. However, standing waves in the ear canal reduce the accuracy of these measurements above 4 kHz. Recent data suggest that speech information at frequencies up to 10 kHz may enhance speech perception, particularly for children. Incident and reflected components of a stimulus in the ear canal can be separated, allowing the use of forward (incident) pressure as a measure of stimulus level. Two experiments were conducted to determine if hearing-aid output in forward pressure provides valid estimates of in-situ sound level in the ear canal. In experiment 1, SPL measurements were obtained at the tympanic membrane and the medial end of an earmold in ten adults. While within-subject test-retest reliability was acceptable, measures near the tympanic membrane reduced the influence of standing waves for two of the ten participants. In experiment 2, forward pressure measurements were found to be unaffected by standing waves in the ear canal for frequencies up to 10 kHz. Implications for clinical assessment of amplification are discussed.
Project description:Helicases are motor proteins that use the free energy of NTP hydrolysis to catalyze the unwinding of duplex nucleic acids. Helicases participate in almost all processes involving nucleic acids. Their action is critical for replication, recombination, repair, transcription, translation, splicing, mRNA editing, chromatin remodeling, transport, and degradation (Matson and Kaiser-Rogers 1990; Matson et al. 1994; Mendonca et al. 1995; Luking et al. 1998).
Project description:The present study evaluated the influence of suppressor frequency (fs) and level (Ls) on stimulus-frequency otoacoustic emissions (SFOAEs) recorded using the amplitude-modulated (AM) suppressor technique described by Neely et al. [J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 118, 2124-2127 (2005a)]. Data were collected in normal-hearing subjects, with data collection occurring in two phases. In phase 1, SFOAEs were recorded with probe frequency (fp) = 1, 2, and 4 kHz and probe levels (Lp) ranging from 0 to 60 dB sound pressure level (SPL). At each fp, Ls ranged from Ls = Lp to Ls = Lp + 30 dB. Additionally, nine relationships between fs and fp were evaluated, ranging from fs/fp = 0.80 to fs/fp = 1.16. Results indicated that for low suppressor levels, suppressors higher in frequency than fp (fs > fp) resulted in higher AM-SFOAE levels than suppressors lower in frequency than fp (fs < fp). At higher suppressor levels, suppressors both higher and lower in frequency than fp produced similar AM-SFOAE levels, and, in many cases, low-frequency suppressors produced the largest response. Recommendations for stimulus parameters that maximize AM-SFOAE level were derived from these data. In phase 2, AM-SFOAEs were recorded using these parameters for fp = 0.7-8 kHz and Lp = 20-60 dB SPL. Robust AM-SFOAE responses were recorded in this group of subjects using the parameters developed in phase 1.
Project description:For the extrinsic hand flexors (flexor digitorum profundus, FDP; flexor digitorum superficialis, FDS; flexor pollicis longus, FPL), moment arm corresponds to the tendon's distance from the center of the metacarpalphalangeal (MP), proximal interphalangeal (PIP), or distal interphalangeal (DIP) joint. The clinical value of establishing accurate moment arms has been highlighted for biomechanical modeling, the development of robotic hands, designing rehabilitation protocols, and repairing flexor tendon pulleys (Brand et al., 1975; An et al., 1983; Thompson and Giurintano, 1989; Deshpande et al., 2010; Wu et al., 2010). In this study, we define the moment arms for all of the extrinsic flexor tendons of the hand across all digital joints for all digits in cadaveric hands.
Project description:We developed and evaluated calibration models predicting objectively measured sitting, standing and walking time from self-reported data using a compositional data analysis (CoDA) approach. A total of 98 office workers (48 women) at the Swedish Transport Administration participated. At baseline and three-months follow-up, time spent sitting, standing and walking at work was assessed for five working days using a thigh-worn accelerometer (Actigraph), as well as by self-report (IPAQ). Individual compositions of time spent in the three behaviors were expressed by isometric log-ratios (ILR). Calibration models predicting objectively measured ILRs from self-reported ILRs were constructed using baseline data, and then validated using follow-up data. Un-calibrated self-reports were inaccurate; root-mean-square (RMS) errors of ILRs for sitting, standing and walking were 1.21, 1.24 and 1.03, respectively. Calibration reduced these errors to 36% (sitting), 40% (standing), and 24% (walking) of those prior to calibration. Calibration models remained effective for follow-up data, reducing RMS errors to 33% (sitting), 51% (standing), and 31% (walking). Thus, compositional calibration models were effective in reducing errors in self-reported physical behaviors during office work. Calibration of self-reports may present a cost-effective method for obtaining physical behavior data with satisfying accuracy in large-scale cohort and intervention studies.
Project description:Simultaneous measurement of auditory brain stem response (ABR) and otoacoustic emission (OAE) delays may provide insights into effects of level, frequency, and stimulus rise-time on cochlear delay. Tone-burst-evoked ABRs and OAEs (TBOAEs) were measured simultaneously in normal-hearing human subjects. Stimuli included a wide range of frequencies (0.5-8 kHz), levels (20-90 dB SPL), and tone-burst rise times. ABR latencies have orderly dependence on these three parameters, similar to previously reported data by Gorga et al. [J. Speech Hear. Res. 31, 87-97 (1988)]. Level dependence of ABR and TBOAE latencies was similar across a wide range of stimulus conditions. At mid-frequencies, frequency dependence of ABR and TBOAE latencies were similar. The dependence of ABR latency on both rise time and level was significant; however, the interaction was not significant, suggesting independent effects. Comparison between ABR and TBOAE latencies reveals that the ratio of TBOAE latency to ABR forward latency (the level-dependent component of ABR total latency) is close to one below 1.5 kHz, but greater than two above 1.5 kHz. Despite the fact that the current experiment was designed to test compatibility with models of reverse-wave propagation, existing models do not completely explain the current data.
Project description:Zhang et al. (G. Zhang, D. Shoham, D. Gilichinsky, S. Davydov, J. D. Castello, and S. O. Rogers, J. Virol. 80:12229-12235, 2006) have claimed to have recovered influenza A virus RNA from Siberian lake ice, postulating that ice might represent an important abiotic reservoir for the persistence and reemergence of this medically important pathogen. A rigorous phylogenetic analysis of these influenza A virus hemagglutinin gene sequences, however, indicates that they originated from a laboratory reference strain derived from the earliest human influenza A virus isolate, WS/33. Contrary to Zhang et al.'s assertions that the Siberian "ice viruses" are most closely related either to avian influenza virus or to human influenza virus strains from Asia from the 1960s (Zhang et al., J. Virol. 81:2538 [erratum], 2007), they are clearly contaminants from the WS/33 positive control used in their laboratory. There is thus no credible evidence that environmental ice acts as a biologically relevant reservoir for influenza viruses. Several additional cases with findings that seem at odds with the biology of influenza virus, including modern-looking avian influenza virus RNA sequences from an archival goose specimen collected in 1917 (T. G. Fanning, R. D. Slemons, A. H. Reid, T. A. Janczewski, J. Dean, and J. K. Taubenberger, J. Virol. 76:7860-7862, 2002), can also be explained by laboratory contamination or other experimental errors. Many putative examples of evolutionary stasis in influenza A virus appear to be due to laboratory artifacts.
Project description:For the classical, homoscedastic measurement error model, moment reconstruction (Freedman et al., 2004, 2008) and moment-adjusted imputation (Thomas et al., 2011) are appealing, computationally simple imputation-like methods for general model fitting. Like classical regression calibration, the idea is to replace the unobserved variable subject to measurement error with a proxy that can be used in a variety of analyses. Moment reconstruction and moment-adjusted imputation differ from regression calibration in that they attempt to match multiple features of the latent variable, and also to match some of the latent variable's relationships with the response and additional covariates. In this note, we consider a problem where true exposure is generated by a complex, nonlinear random effects modeling process, and develop analogues of moment reconstruction and moment-adjusted imputation for this case. This general model includes classical measurement errors, Berkson measurement errors, mixtures of Berkson and classical errors and problems that are not measurement error problems, but also cases where the data-generating process for true exposure is a complex, nonlinear random effects modeling process. The methods are illustrated using the National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and Health Study where the latent variable is a dietary pattern score called the Healthy Eating Index-2005. We also show how our general model includes methods used in radiation epidemiology as a special case. Simulations are used to illustrate the methods.