Probe-elicited wave V amplitudes of the auditory brainstem response (ABR) were measured using a forward-masking paradigm. Subjects were anesthetized cats. For individual experiments, probe frequency and intensity were fixed and masker frequencies and intensities were varied. For each masker frequency, the extent to which the probe-elicited wave V amplitude was reduced by the preceding masker was plotted as a function of masker intensity. The rising segments of the masking functions were fitted with straight lines, using a least-squares procedure, to obtain estimates of their slopes. Masking grew most rapidly for masker frequencies below probe frequency, becoming progressively less steep as masker frequency increased. ABR tuning curves were constructed by using the linear fits to define the masker intensity that caused a 50% reduction in probe-elicited wave V amplitude. The shapes of these tuning curves were comparable to whole-nerve action potential (AP) tuning curves obtained under similar stimulus conditions. These results indicate that ABR amplitude measurements in a forward-masking paradigm can be used to estimate the growth of response to masking stimuli and frequency selectivity in a manner similar to AP amplitude measurments.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics