Middle ear stapedius muscle acoustic reflex and laryngeal amplitude response


  • B. Orser Queen's Univ., Kingston, Ont., Canada


ear, hearing, neurophysiology, speech intelligibility, ascending auditory pathway, middle ear stapedius muscle acoustic reflex, laryngeal-pharyngeal region, segment processing, peripheral auditory system, psychoacoustical data, sound identification, human speech signal, bioacoustic constraints


This study describes the ascending auditory pathway of the middle ear stapedius muscle acoustic reflex. The purpose is to localize the reflex's role in transmitting complex speech sound, specifically, resonant and prosodic elements-stress and syllables-produced in the laryngeal-pharyngeal region of the vocal tract. The corresponding acoustic components are amplitude and intensity. The processing locale of these speech elements apparently differs from that of segment processing which occurs in the peripheral auditory system. Acoustic and psychoacoustical data suggests a system which, in addition to the peripheral auditory system, operates in sound identification, moreover, this system creates some form of representation of the laryngeal and prosodic elements in the human speech signal. These observations are summarized here in reference to selection for a laryngeal and prosodic inventory in natural language. Stevens asks how constraints imposed by the auditory system shape the inventory of sounds used in language. A second question, beyond this paper's scope, is how auditory processing imposes a classificatory structure on the phonetic sounds of language. The present, informal study contributes to deriving a system of non-peripheral bioacoustic constraints on the auditory representation of language



How to Cite

Orser B. Middle ear stapedius muscle acoustic reflex and laryngeal amplitude response. Canadian Acoustics [Internet]. 1994Sep.1 [cited 2021Apr.17];22(3):93-4. Available from: https://jcaa.caa-aca.ca/index.php/jcaa/article/view/867



Proceedings of the Acoustics Week in Canada