acoustic reflex

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An involuntary contraction of the tensor tympani and stapedius muscles within the middle ears, occurring simultaneously in both ears in response to intense noise presented to either ear, stiffening the eardrum and restricting movements of the ossicles, causing a temporary threshold shift and protecting against damage to the organs of hearing. It is similar to the pupillary light reflex in response to bright light. Also called the tympanic reflex.

Subjects: Psychology.

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