Auditory Detection of the Human Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response The human brainstem auditory evoked response (BAER) is a far-field electrical potential recorded from the scalp in response to transient acoustic stimuli. Typically, voltage measurements are obtained for a period of about 10 msec following the acoustic stimulus, which is repeated and summed several hundred or thousand times to permit ... Research Note
Research Note  |   April 01, 1993
Auditory Detection of the Human Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Gerald Kidd, Jr.
    Boston University Boston, MA
  • Robert F. Burkard
    Boston University Boston, MA
  • Christine R. Mason
    Boston University Boston, MA
  • Work completed while on leave at the University of Florida, Gainesville, FL.
    Work completed while on leave at the University of Florida, Gainesville, FL.×
  • Contact author: Gerald Kidd, Jr., PhD, Department of Communication Disorders, Boston University, 635 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215.
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Hearing / Research Notes
Research Note   |   April 01, 1993
Auditory Detection of the Human Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 1993, Vol. 36, 442-447. doi:10.1044/jshr.3602.442
History: Received April 27, 1992 , Accepted October 15, 1992
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 1993, Vol. 36, 442-447. doi:10.1044/jshr.3602.442
History: Received April 27, 1992; Accepted October 15, 1992

The human brainstem auditory evoked response (BAER) is a far-field electrical potential recorded from the scalp in response to transient acoustic stimuli. Typically, voltage measurements are obtained for a period of about 10 msec following the acoustic stimulus, which is repeated and summed several hundred or thousand times to permit extraction of the response from ongoing nonauditory neural activity. The judgment about whether a response has been obtained is normally based on the pattern observed in a visual display of the waveform. In this study, we investigated whether listeners can distinguish BAERs elicited by acoustic clicks from control waveforms obtained with no acoustic stimulus when the waveforms were presented auditorily. For this purpose, BAER and control waveforms were transduced by an earphone and used in an auditory detection task. Several presentation strategies were examined, including lengthening the waveform by playing it at a lower sampling rate, playing the waveform repetitively, and using the waveform to frequency modulate a pure-tone carrier. The results indicated that the BAER, when extended in duration and used to frequency modulate a 1000-Hz pure tone, was highly detectable in a yes-no paradigm for BAERs elicited with high-level (e.g., 70 dB re. behavioral detection threshold) acoustic clicks. Performance declined to near chance as the level of the BAER-eliciting stimulus was lowered to 10 dB. In general, detection performance for stimuli presented visually was slightly, but consistently, superior to that which occurred for stimuli presented auditorily.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported by grants DC00597, DC00399, and NS28261 from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. The authors are grateful to Phalguni S. Deliwala and Grace A. Owen for their assistance with this project and wish to thank David M. Green and colleagues from the Psychoacoustics Laboratory, University of Florida, for support and resources during the preparation of this manuscript. The authors also appreciate the comments of Craig A. Champlin on an earlier version of this article. Portions of this work were presented at the 1992 Midwinter Research Meeting of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access