Interaction between osseous and non-osseous vibratory stimulation of the human cadaveric head

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Bone conduction (BC) stimulation can be applied by vibration to the bony or skin covered skull (osseous BC), or on soft tissue such as the neck (non-osseous BC). The interaction between osseous and non-osseous bone conduction pathways is assessed in this study. The relation between bone vibrations measured at the cochlear promontory and the intracranial sound pressure for stimulation directly on the dura and for stimulation at the mastoid between 0.2 and 10 kHz was compared. First, for stimulation on the dura, varying the static coupling force of the BC transducer on the dura had only a small effect on promontory vibration. Second, the presence or absence of intracranial fluid did not affect promontory vibration for stimulation on the dura. Third, stimulation on the mastoid elicited both promontory vibration and intracranial sound pressure. Stimulation on the dura caused intracranial sound pressure to a similar extent above 0.5 kHz compared to stimulation on the mastoid, while promontory vibration was less by 20–40 dB. From these findings, we conclude that intracranial sound pressure (non-osseous BC) only marginally affects bone vibrations measured on the promontory (osseous BC), whereas skull vibrations affect intracranial sound pressure.

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