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A new efficient and safe music exposure paradigm (Iliadou et al., 2024)

posted on 2024-01-31, 20:07 authored by Eleftheria Iliadou, Konstantinos Pastiadis, Dimitrios Dimitriadis, Christopher J. Plack, Athanasios Bibas

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to develop a time-efficient music exposure and testing paradigm that safely creates temporary cochlear dysfunction that could be used in future temporary threshold shift (TTS) studies.

Method: A 30-min audio compilation of pop rock music tracks was created. Adult volunteers with normal hearing were then exposed to this music material monaurally through headphones for 30 min at 97 dBA or 15 min at 100 dBA. Levels were measured from the ear of a manikin and are considered to provide an equivalent daily noise dose based on a 3-dB exchange. We assessed the changes in their hearing, by means of distortion product otoacoustic emission (DPOAE) testing, and standard and extended high-frequency pure-tone audiometry before and after exposure. There were 17 volunteers in total. In the first trial, eight volunteers (four females; Mdnage = 31 years [interquartile range, IQR = 4.25]) were included. Although TTS was observed in all eight participants for at least one frequency, a large variation in affected frequencies was observed. To address this issue, the audio material was further remastered to adjust levels across the different frequency bands. Fourteen adults (nine newly recruited and five from the first trial; seven females; Mdnage = 31 years [IQR = 5]) were exposed to the new material.

Results: All but two of 17 participants presented clinically significant TTS or decrease in DPOAE amplitude in at least one frequency. Statistically significant average TTS of 7.43 dB was observed at 6 kHz. There were statistically significant average DPOAE amplitude shifts of −2.55 dB at 4 kHz, −4.97 dB at 6 kHz, and −3.14 dB at 8 kHz. No participant presented permanent threshold shift.

Conclusions: A monaural music paradigm was developed and shown to induce statistically significant TTS and DPOAE amplitude shifts, without evidence of permanent loss. This realistic and time-efficient paradigm may be considered a viable option for experimental studies of temporary music-induced hearing loss.

Supplemental Material S1. TTS per frequency for the 17 participants of the pilot study.

Supplemental Material S2. Ultimate PTA threshold shift per frequency for the first part of the experimental study.

Supplemental Material S3. Ultimate PTA threshold shift per frequency for the second part of the experimental study.

Supplemental Material S4. Distortion product otoacoustic emission data for Trials 1 and 2.

Iliadou, E., Pastiadis, K., Dimitriadis, D., Plack, C. J., & Bibas, A. (2024). Development and validation of an efficient and safe loud music exposure paradigm. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 67(2), 668–679.


The research was supported by the Special Account of Research Grants of the National & Kapodistrian University of Athens. Christopher J. Plack was supported by the National Institute for Health and Care Research Manchester Biomedical Research Centre (NIHR203308) and by the Medical Research Council, UK (MR/V01272X/1).