Evolving perspectives on the sources of the frequency-following response

Nat Commun. 2019 Nov 6;10(1):5036. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-13003-w.


The auditory frequency-following response (FFR) is a non-invasive index of the fidelity of sound encoding in the brain, and is used to study the integrity, plasticity, and behavioral relevance of the neural encoding of sound. In this Perspective, we review recent evidence suggesting that, in humans, the FFR arises from multiple cortical and subcortical sources, not just subcortically as previously believed, and we illustrate how the FFR to complex sounds can enhance the wider field of auditory neuroscience. Far from being of use only to study basic auditory processes, the FFR is an uncommonly multifaceted response yielding a wealth of information, with much yet to be tapped.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Auditory Cortex / physiology*
  • Auditory Perception / physiology*
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Evoked Potentials, Auditory / physiology
  • Evoked Potentials, Auditory, Brain Stem / physiology
  • Humans
  • Learning
  • Memory
  • Sound