Auditory steady-state responses to multiple simultaneous stimuli

Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol. 1995 Sep;96(5):420-32. doi: 10.1016/0168-5597(95)00048-w.


Steady-state responses can follow multiple simultaneous auditory stimuli. If the stimuli are modulated at different rates, responses specific to each stimulus can be assessed by measuring in the frequency domain response the spectral component corresponding to the rate of modulation. When each stimulus has a different carrier frequency or different ear of presentation, the responses when 8 stimuli are presented simultaneously are not significantly different than when each stimulus is presented alone. Since significant responses can be recognized down to intensities that average 14 dB above behavioral threshold, this technique may be useful in objective audiometry. It is also possible to record steady-state responses to multiple modulations of the same carrier frequency. In this case, the amplitude of the responses when the stimuli are combined is smaller than when the stimuli are presented alone. The decrease in amplitude depends upon the number of concomitant stimuli and their relative intensities. These effects are probably due to the compressive rectification occurring during cochlear transduction, and the data may be used to model cochlear processing of auditory stimuli.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Electroencephalography
  • Evoked Potentials, Auditory / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Neurological
  • Sleep / physiology