Auditory brainstem responses to tone bursts in normally hearing subjects

J Speech Hear Res. 1988 Mar;31(1):87-97. doi: 10.1044/jshr.3101.87.


Auditory brainstem responses were recorded from 20 normally hearing subjects using tone-burst stimuli that were gated with cosine-squared functions. Clear responses were observed over a wide range of frequencies and levels. These responses were highly reproducible within individual subjects and were reliably measured by two independent examiners. ABR thresholds were higher than behavioral thresholds for all frequencies, especially for lower frequencies. Intersubject variability also was greater for lower frequencies. Wave-V latencies decreased with increases in both frequency and level for frequencies from 250 to 8000 Hz and for levels from 20 to 100 dB SPL. The standard deviations seldom exceeded 10% of the mean wave-V latency for any combination of level and frequency. These latencies can be viewed as the sum of both a peripheral and a central component. Assuming that the central component is relatively independent of both frequency and level, changes of wave V latency must be related to peripheral factors, such as travel time along the cochlear partition, and to stimulus characteristics, such as rise time.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Audiometry
  • Auditory Threshold / physiology*
  • Brain Stem / physiology
  • Evoked Potentials, Auditory*
  • Humans
  • Reaction Time / physiology