Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology vol:11 issue:2 pages:267-282
Auditory steady state responses are neural potentials in response to repeated auditory stimuli. This study shows that electrically evoked auditory steady state responses (EASSRs) to low-rate pulse trains can be reliably recorded by electrodes placed on the scalp of a cochlear implant (CI) user and separated from the artifacts generated by the electrical stimulation. Response properties are described, and the predictive value of EASSRs for behaviorally hearing thresholds is analyzed. For six users of a Cochlear Nucleus CI, EASSRs to symmetric biphasic pulse trains with rates between 35 and 47 Hz were recorded with seven scalp electrodes. The influence of various stimulus parameters was assessed: pulse rate, stimulus intensity, monopolar or bipolar stimulation mode, and presentation of either one pulse train on one electrode or interleaved pulse trains with different pulse rates on multiple electrodes. To compensate for the electrical artifacts caused by the stimulus pulses and radio frequency transmission, different methods of artifact reduction were employed. The validity of the recorded responses was confirmed by recording on-off responses, determination of response latency across the measured pulse rates, and comparison of amplitude growth of stimulus artifact and response amplitude. For stimulation in the 40 Hz range, response latencies of 35.6 ms (SD = 5.3 ms) were obtained. Responses to multiple simultaneous stimuli on different electrodes can be evoked, and the electrophysiological thresholds determined from EASSR amplitude growth in the 40 Hz range correlate well with behaviorally determined threshold levels for pulse rates of 41 Hz.