Brain stem and forebrain auditory-evoked potentials were studied parametrically during the first 90 postnatal days in unanesthetized kittens using tonal and click stimuli. This paper describes changes that occur in transmission time through the auditory pathway during development by analyses of the maturational time courses of latencies associated with waves of both auditory brain stem responses (ABR's) and late-occurring auditory-evoked potentials (AER's), recorded subdermally from the vertex. In response to click stimuli, ABR latencies were found to decay rapidly early in postnatal life and more slowly after the third postnatal week. Those trends were modeled as a two-stage sequential process, with a linear stage occurring between 7 and 18 postnatal days followed by an exponential stage during which adult latencies were achieved. AER latencies changes during development were less complicated, and followed a single-stage exponential time course. When threshold influences were taken into account—that is, when data were adjusted so that sensation level (SL) was constant across age—the latency-maturation curves associated with all ABR waves were adequately described by a single exponential, and latencies recorded from young animals were substantially shorter than latencies associated with the same aged animals when analyses were carried out with constant sound-pressure level (SPL) stimuli across age. In addition, the difference function, generated when isoasymptotic SPL and SL latency versus age functions were subtracted from one another, was also represented by an exponential curve, suggesting that at least two processes underlie the latency decay that occurs during postnatal development. Evoked responses to tonal stimuli throughout development were consistent with the basoapical developmental gradient that is observed anatomically.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics