FEM-Simulation of Bone Conduction in the Human Head: Influence of Geometrical and Material Parameters
Bone conduction describes the transmission of vibrations via osseous, cartilage and soft tissue pathways that contribute to the hearing sensation. The use of the finite-element method to model bone conduction inevitably requires substantial simplifications of the human head properties due to the assignment and definition of volumetric domains and the corresponding materials.This study investigates the influence of the simplifications on the simulation of the wave propagation in the head by varying geometrical and material parameters of a base model, which consists of an ellipsoidal head geometry containing fluid and solid domains. The motion is examined in terms of occurring wave patterns and by evaluating point measures at specific positions, such as at the actuator and the inner ear. The variability of the model predictions is related to the inter-subject variability observed in measurements with real human heads. Finally, parameter ranges are proposed, which allow to simulate the transmission of vibrations in the human head within a suitable accuracy.