Relationship Between Behavioral and Electrophysiological Thresholds

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Conference Proceeding

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Speech and Hearing Sciences


Clinical applications for hearing thresholds obtained with electrophysiological measures are well established. Bush, Jones, & Shinn (2008) suggested that a diagnostic relationship exists between behavioral and auditory brainstem response (ABR) thresholds. They reported that subjects with MRI-confirmed vestibular schwannomas had differences greater than 30 dB when behavioral thresholds were compared to ABR using a 100 microsecond square wave (click) stimulus. However, there are little data available showing threshold relationships between behavioral and ABR thresholds for frequency specific stimuli. It is conceivable that a frequency specific stimulus may be more sensitive to schwannoma effects. Therefore, this project examined differences in hearing thresholds for normal hearing participants for two threshold methods (behavioral and ABR) and four stimuli: 250, 1000, and 4000 Hz tone bursts, and a 100 microsecond click. The same ABR instrument and stimuli were used for each method to obtain thresholds in twenty eight normal hearing adults in a repeated measures design. Results showed ABR thresholds to be significantly higher than behavioral. Thresholds varied significantly across stimuli for the ABR method but not the behavioral. Differences between methods were less than 30 dB for 93% of participants. These findings are consistent with Bush's findings for a normal hearing control group.

Publication Title

Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics



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