Intracerebral sources of human auditory steady-state responses

Brain Topogr. 2002 Winter;15(2):69-86. doi: 10.1023/a:1021470822922.


The objective of this study was to localize the intracerebral generators for auditory steady-state responses. The stimulus was a continuous 1000-Hz tone presented to the right or left ear at 70 dBSPL. The tone was sinusoidally amplitude-modulated to a depth of 100% at 12, 39, or 88 Hz. Responses recorded from 47 electrodes on the head were transformed into the frequency domain. Brain electrical source analysis treated the real and imaginary components of the response in the frequency domain as independent samples. The latency of the source activity was estimated from the phase of the source waveform. The main source model contained a midline brainstem generator with two components (one vertical and lateral) and cortical sources in the left and right supratemporal plane, each containing tangential and radial components. At 88 Hz, the largest activity occurred in the brainstem and subsequent cortical activity was minor. At 39 Hz, the initial brainstem component remained and significant activity also occurred in the cortical sources, with the tangential activity being larger than the radial. The 12-Hz responses were small, but suggested combined activation of both brainstem and cortical sources. Estimated latencies decreased for all source waveforms as modulation frequency increased and were shorter for the brainstem compared to cortical sources. These results suggest that the whole auditory nervous system is activated by modulated tones, with the cortex being more sensitive to slower modulation frequencies.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology
  • Ear / physiology
  • Electrodes
  • Electroencephalography
  • Evoked Potentials, Auditory, Brain Stem / physiology*
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality
  • Humans
  • Loudness Perception / physiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Biological
  • Otoacoustic Emissions, Spontaneous / physiology
  • Reaction Time
  • Sound Localization
  • Time Factors