A comparison of auditory brain stem response thresholds and latencies elicited by air- and bone-conducted stimuli

Ear Hear. 1993 Apr;14(2):85-94. doi: 10.1097/00003446-199304000-00003.


Auditory brain stem responses (ABRs) were measured for stimuli presented both by air conduction and by bone conduction. Stimuli included clicks and tone bursts at octave frequencies from 250 to 4000 Hz. ABR thresholds were comparable for air- and bone-conducted stimuli. Wave V latencies were longer for bone-conducted stimuli compared to similar responses for air conduction. This effect was evident for both clicks and tone bursts. The fact that these latency differences were largely independent of stimulus spectrum suggests that they are not due to differences between the frequency responses of air and bone conduction transducers. This finding is expected when one considers the interaction between output, threshold, and frequency for both transducer types. These data also suggest that there are inherent differences in transmission by air and bone conduction that affect response latency but are unrelated to the amplitude spectrum in the signal.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Adult
  • Audiometry, Pure-Tone
  • Auditory Perception / physiology
  • Auditory Threshold*
  • Bone Conduction / physiology*
  • Ear, Inner
  • Ear, Middle
  • Evoked Potentials, Auditory, Brain Stem*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male