Blog Archives

Comparison of auditory electrophysiological responses in normal-hearing patients with and without tinnitus

Conclusion: The pathogenesis and optimum management of tinnitus are still unclear. It often occurs with primary ear disease, usually associated with hearing loss, but may occur in patients with normal hearing. Observed changes in auditory brainstem and middle latency responses indicate central auditory alterations. Tinnitus involves both peripheral and central activity, and complete audiological and neurophysiological investigation is required. Management should be based on both audiological and neurophysiological findings.

from the Journal of Laryngology and Otology

Pitch Discrimination Learning: Specificity for Pitch and Harmonic Resolvability, and Electrophysiological Correlates

Multiple-hour training on a pitch discrimination task dramatically decreases the threshold for detecting a pitch difference between two harmonic complexes. Here, we investigated the specificity of this perceptual learning with respect to the pitch and the resolvability of the trained harmonic complex, as well as its cortical electrophysiological correlates. We trained 24 participants for 12 h on a pitch discrimination task using one of four different harmonic complexes. The complexes differed in pitch and/or spectral resolvability of their components by the cochlea, but were filtered into the same spectral region. Cortical-evoked potentials and a behavioral measure of pitch discrimination were assessed before and after training for all the four complexes. The change in these measures was compared to that of two control groups: one trained on a level discrimination task and one without any training. The behavioral results showed that learning was partly specific to both pitch and resolvability. Training with a resolved-harmonic complex improved pitch discrimination for resolved complexes more than training with an unresolved complex. However, we did not find evidence that training with an unresolved complex leads to specific learning for unresolved complexes. Training affected the P2 component of the cortical-evoked potentials, as well as a later component (250–400 ms). No significant changes were found on the mismatch negativity (MMN) component, although a separate experiment showed that this measure was sensitive to pitch changes equivalent to the pitch discriminability changes induced by training. This result suggests that pitch discrimination training affects processes not measured by the MMN, for example, processes higher in level or parallel to those involved in MMN generation.

from JARO — Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology

Stability of auditory evoked potentials in adults with normal hearing

CONCLUSION: Except for the N2-P3 amplitude, it was observed stability of the parameters of ABR, MLR and P300 in normal adults after a period of three months.

from Revista de Sociedade Brasileira de Fonoaudiologia

Auditory cortical N100 in pre- and post-synaptic auditory neuropathy to frequency or intensity changes of continuous tones

Abnormalities of auditory cortical N100 in AN reflect disorders of both temporal processing (low frequency) and neural adaptation (high frequency). Auditory N100 latency to the low frequency provides an objective measure of the degree of impaired speech perception in AN.

from Clinical Neurophysiology

Brainstem auditory evoked potential with speech stimulus

CONCLUSION: based on the gathered data it can be observed that this potential works as a new tool for understanding the encoding of sound at the brainstem level.

from Pró-Fono Revista de Atualização Científica

Standardization of brainstem auditory evoked potential using a new device*

the components of BAEP with the NDD in normal-hearing subjects were similar regarding the tested ears, with statistically lower latencies in women. The BAEP latencies in the same individual with NDD were similar to those obtained with the EP15 / Interacoustics. Normal values of BAEP were obtained in normal-hearing adults.

from Pró-Fono Revista de Atualização Científica

Maturation of auditory function related to hearing threshold estimations using the auditory brainstem response during infancy

The maturation of the ABR should be considered during the estimation of an infant’s audiogram and subsequent diagnosis.

from the International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology

Age-Related Changes in Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potentials Using a Modified Blood Pressure Manometer Feedback Method

Conclusions: This study confirmed a significant decline in VEMP amplitude and increase in VEMP thresholds in healthy older persons. Normative age-related data may be necessary to properly interpret VEMP recordings in a clinical setting when evaluating aging populations. The BPM method utilized for controlling SCM muscle may be a valuable alternative to control SCM muscle contraction when electromyography equipment is not available.

from the American Journal of Audiology

Study of suppression effect in the brainstem auditory evoked potential*

the present study indicated increased latencies and reduced amplitudes of waves I, III and V with contralateral noise, when comparing the situations with and without noise. These results suggest a possible influence of the efferent auditory system on the response modulation of Brainstem auditory evoked potential when contralateral white noise is used.

from Pró-Fono

Effects of Repeated Volitional Swallowing on the Excitability of Submental Corticobulbar Motor Pathways

The aim of this study was to examine the effects of repeated volitional saliva swallowing on corticobulbar excitability recorded during two muscle preactivation conditions of the submental muscle group. Motor-evoked potentials (MEPs), elicited by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), were assessed in ten healthy volunteers prior to and at 5, 30, 60, and 90 min after 60 volitional saliva swallows (Protocol A). To control for intrinsic fluctuations in corticobulbar excitability during this assessment period, MEPs were also recorded, on a different day, at 30-min intervals across a 2-h period (Protocol B). At each assessment, 15 MEPs were recorded during two submental muscle preactivation conditions: volitional contraction and contraction associated with the pharyngeal phase of volitional swallowing. There were no significant effects of repetitive volitional swallowing or time on MEP measures (p > 0.05). We conclude that volitional saliva swallowing does not have immediate effects on the excitability of corticobulbar projections to the submental musculature during volitionally initiated swallowing motor tasks. These results provide no evidence for use-dependent potentiation of corticobulbar excitability through repetitive saliva swallowing. The lack of effects of time on mean MEP measures supports previous reports of good intrasession reliability of MEPs as a measure of corticobulbar excitability.

from Dysphagia

Cortical reorganization in dyslexic children after phonological training: evidence from early evoked potentials

Brain plasticity was investigated in 14 Italian children affected by developmental dyslexia after 6 months of phonological training. The means used to measure language reorganization was the recognition potential, an early wave, also called N150, elicited by automatic word recognition. This component peaks over the left temporo-occipital cortex and its amplitude depends on linguistic expertise. N150 elicited by written words was measured both in dyslexic children before and after training and in a sample of matched normal readers during phonological, semantic and orthographic tasks. After training, dyslexic children increased their reading speed. Normal readers showed a typical left posterior N150, whereas in dyslexic children it was equally distributed across hemispheres before and shifted to left posterior sites after training. In addition, dyslexics’ left posterior N150 asymmetry on the phonological task after training was significantly correlated with reading speed improvement, that is, those children who showed the greatest left shift in phonological N150 also had the greatest reading speed improvement. Source localization of the N150 component was made with both the Standard Low Resolution Electromagnetic Tomography software and the classical dipole analysis method termed Brain Electrical Source Analysis. The N150 generator lies in the left occipito-temporal cortex (Brodmann areas 39, 37 and 19) in good readers, but in right homologous areas in dyslexic children before training. After the treatment, the dyslexics’ main N150 generator shifted to the left occipito-inferotemporal cortex (namely Brodmann areas 37 and 19) with small differences between tasks. The two source location methods provided consistent, converging solutions. Results add to the current literature on the phonological hypothesis of dyslexia by showing hemispheric reorganization of linguistic networks at the level of early word recognition potential. Furthermore, the present work is the first to investigate brain reorganization in a regular/transparent language like Italian.

from Brain

Subcortical Plasticity Following Perceptual Learning in a Pitch Discrimination Task

Practice can lead to dramatic improvements in the discrimination of auditory stimuli. In this study, we investigated changes of the frequency-following response (FFR), a subcortical component of the auditory evoked potentials, after a period of pitch discrimination training. Twenty-seven adult listeners were trained for 10 h on a pitch discrimination task using one of three different complex tone stimuli. One had a static pitch contour, one had a rising pitch contour, and one had a falling pitch contour. Behavioral measures of pitch discrimination and FFRs for all the stimuli were measured before and after the training phase for these participants, as well as for an untrained control group (n = 12). Trained participants showed significant improvements in pitch discrimination compared to the control group for all three trained stimuli. These improvements were partly specific for stimuli with the same pitch modulation (dynamic vs. static) and with the same pitch trajectory (rising vs. falling) as the trained stimulus. Also, the robustness of FFR neural phase locking to the sound envelope increased significantly more in trained participants compared to the control group for the static and rising contour, but not for the falling contour. Changes in FFR strength were partly specific for stimuli with the same pitch modulation (dynamic vs. static) of the trained stimulus. Changes in FFR strength, however, were not specific for stimuli with the same pitch trajectory (rising vs. falling) as the trained stimulus. These findings indicate that even relatively low-level processes in the mature auditory system are subject to experience-related change.

from JARO — Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology

Effect of auditory training on the middle latency response in children with (central) auditory processing disorder

The purpose of this study was to determine the middle latency response (MLR) characteristics (latency and amplitude) in children with (central) auditory processing disorder [(C)APD], categorized as such by their performance on the central auditory test battery, and the effects of these characteristics after auditory training. Thirty children with (C)APD, 8 to 14 years of age, were tested using the MLR-evoked potential. This group was then enrolled in an 8-week auditory training program and then retested at the completion of the program. A control group of 22 children without (C)APD, composed of relatives and acquaintances of those involved in the research, underwent the same testing at equal time intervals, but were not enrolled in the auditory training program. Before auditory training, MLR results for the (C)APD group exhibited lower C3-A1 and C3-A2 wave amplitudes in comparison to the control group [C3-A1, 0.84 µV (mean), 0.39 (SD – standard deviation) for the (C)APD group and 1.18 µV (mean), 0.65 (SD) for the control group; C3-A2, 0.69 µV (mean), 0.31 (SD) for the (C)APD group and 1.00 µV (mean), 0.46 (SD) for the control group]. After training, the MLR C3-A1 [1.59 µV (mean), 0.82 (SD)] and C3-A2 [1.24 µV (mean), 0.73 (SD)] wave amplitudes of the (C)APD group significantly increased, so that there was no longer a significant difference in MLR amplitude between (C)APD and control groups. These findings suggest progress in the use of electrophysiological measurements for the diagnosis and treatment of (C)APD.

from Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research

Effects of DBS on auditory and somatosensory processing in Parkinson’s disease

Motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (PD) can be relieved by deep brain stimulation (DBS). The mechanism of action of DBS is largely unclear. Magnetoencephalography (MEG) studies on DBS patients have been unfeasible because of strong magnetic artifacts. An artifact suppression method known as spatiotemporal signal space separation (tSSS) has mainly overcome these difficulties. We wanted to clarify whether tSSS enables noninvasive measurement of the modulation of cortical activity caused by DBS. We have studied auditory and somatosensory-evoked fields (AEFs and SEFs) of advanced PD patients with bilateral subthalamic nucleus (STN) DBS using MEG. AEFs were elicited by 1-kHz tones and SEFs by electrical pulses to the median nerve with DBS on and off. Data could be successfully acquired and analyzed from 12 out of 16 measured patients. The motor symptoms were significantly relieved by DBS, which clearly enhanced the ipsilateral auditory N100m responses in the right hemisphere. Contralateral N100m responses and somatosensory P60m responses also had a tendency to increase when bilateral DBS was on. MEG with tSSS offers a novel and powerful tool to investigate DBS modulation of the evoked cortical activity in PD with high temporal and spatial resolution. The results suggest that STN-DBS modulates auditory processing in advanced PD. Hum Brain Mapp, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

from Human Brain Mapping

Effects of unilateral dysfunction of the inferior vestibular nerve system on postural stability

Foam posturography is useful for making a preliminary assessment of unilateral vestibulopathy with abnormal cVEMPs. Selective damage of the unilateral IVN system could affect postural stability.

from Clinical Neurophysiology