Effects of stimulus rate on the feline brain-stem auditory evoked response during development. II. Peak amplitudes

Robert Burkard, Joann McGee, Edward J. Walsh

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27 Scopus citations


The effects of click rate on brain-stem auditory evoked response (BAER) peak amplitudes were investigated in adult cats and kittens in four age groups: 10, 15, 20, and 30 post-natal days. Conventional BAERs were obtained at rates of 5, 10, 30, 60, and 90 Hz. Maximum length sequences (MLSs) were used to obtain responses at rates of 83, 125, 250, 500, and 1000 Hz. For both techniques, clicks were presented at 90 dB pSPL, and at 20 dB above threshold (20 dB SL). BAERs were observed for all age groups, at all click rates. However, not all peaks could be identified in all animals, with peak absence more common for the youngest kittens at the higher rates. BAER waves i through iv decreased in amplitude with increasing click rate for all age groups. In general, the smallest peak amplitudes were observed for the youngest animals (10- to 15-day-old) studied, while the largest amplitudes were found for the adult, 20- or 30-day-old animals, regardless of rate. When amplitudes were normalized to eliminate the influences of differences in absolute values due to developmental stage (i.e., made proportional to the amplitude observed at 5 Hz), the younger age groups exhibited enhanced sensitivity to the effects of stimulus rate. However, exceptions to this trend were observed. In general, amplitudes of BAER peaks obtained with the MLS procedure were smaller than those obtained using conventional averaging with a similar average click rate, regardless of age. Finally, the most efficient method for obtaining a response at a criterion signal-to-noise ratio was typically by the use of conventional averaging at a rate of 60 or 90 Hz, for all peaks and age groups. Overall, these data suggest that higher stimulus rates produce greater neural adaptation resulting in reduced BAER peak amplitudes. The mechanism responsible for the acquisition of adult- like adaptation properties appears to develop during the early post-natal period in the cat.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)991-1002
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number2 I
StatePublished - Aug 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics

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