Critical Examination of the Article Impulse Noise Injury Prediction Based on the Cochlear Energy by Zagadou, Chan, Ho, and Shelly

Report No. ARL-TR-7958
Authors: G Richard Price; Joel T Kalb; Charles R Jokel
Date/Pages: April 2017; 34 pages
Abstract: In an article claiming to produce an improved damage risk criterion for human exposure to intense impulsive sounds, Zagadou, Chan, Ho, and Shelly critiqued the Auditory Hazard Assessment Algorithm for Humans (AHAAH) model used by the US Department of Defense (DOD) in assessing noise hazard and also proposed an alternative. Their approach required that they 1) improve the fit of AHAAH to the transfer functions, 2) reproduce the stimulating conditions in the Albuquerque Studies (AS), record pressure histories at the eardrum position of a manikin, and 3) produce a better predictive algorithm. Unfortunately, they succeeded in none of their aims. They did not in fact use the DOD program but rather some unknown variant. The model they did create had a demonstrably worse fit to the transfer functions. For a variety of reasons, they did not reproduce the stimulating conditions in the AS. The acoustic data they published are rife with serious artifacts and cannot be considered a replication of the AS data. Finally, we have shown that the interpretation of the data and the analytical procedures simply ignored relevant data on the ear's response to intense sounds. They consistently made assumptions, creating "data" that contained biases in the direction of energy explaining everything—a problem of logical circularity.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: April 1, 2017