No Change in Medial Olivocochlear Efferent Activity during an Auditory or Visual Task: Dual Evidence from Otoacoustic Emissions and Event-Related Potentials
The medial olivocochlear (MOC) system is thought to be responsible for modulation of peripheral hearing through descending (efferent) pathways. This study investigated the connection between peripheral hearing function and conscious attention during two different modality tasks, auditory and visual. Peripheral hearing function was evaluated by analyzing the amount of suppression of otoacoustic emissions (OAEs) by contralateral acoustic stimulation (CAS), a well-known effect of the MOC.
... f the MOC. Simultaneously, attention was evaluated by event-related potentials (ERPs). Although the ERPs showed clear differences in processing of auditory and visual tasks, there were no differences in the levels of OAE suppression. We also analyzed OAEs for the highest magnitude resonant mode signal detected by the matching pursuit method, but again did not find a significant effect of task, and no difference in noise level or number of rejected trials. However, for auditory tasks, the amplitude of the P3 cognitive wave negatively correlated with the level of OAE suppression. We conclude that there seems to be no change in MOC function when performing different modality tasks, although the cortex still remains able to modulate some aspects of MOC activity.