The effect of broadband noise on the human brainstem auditory evoked response. I. Rate and intensity effects

J Acoust Soc Am. 1983 Oct;74(4):1204-13. doi: 10.1121/1.390024.


A series of experiments investigated the effects of continuous broadband noise (ipsilateral) on wave V of the click-evoked brainstem auditory evoked response (BAER). In general, a broadband noise masker increases the latency and decreases the amplitude of wave V. Varying both click and noise intensity, it was found that noise levels above about 40 dB SPL increase the latency and decrease the amplitude of wave V, regardless of click intensity. The effects of noise on wave V amplitude appear constant across click intensity, whereas the effects of a constant noise level on wave V latency decrease at higher click intensities. Both masking and adaptation increase wave V latency, but their combined effects are occlusive: rate-induced wave V latency shift decreases in the presence of continuous broadband noise. The clinical and theoretical implications of these findings are discussed.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Brain Stem / physiology
  • Evoked Potentials, Auditory*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Noise*
  • Perceptual Masking / physiology*
  • Reaction Time