The human brainstem frequency-following response (FFR) registers phase-locked neural activity to periodic auditory stimuli. FFR waveforms were extracted from the electroencephalogram by averaging responses to repeated auditory stimulation. Two channels of data were simultaneously recorded from horizontally (electrodes placed in ear canals) and vertically (vertex scalp referenced to midline) oriented electrode configurations. Eight participants each received a total of 2000 tone repetitions for each of ten stimulus frequencies ranging from 133 to 950 Hz. FFRs were quantified by fast-Fourier spectral analysis. The largest spectral intensities at the stimulus frequency were recorded in the horizontal FFR, which also followed higher frequencies and showed better signal-to-noise ratios then did the vertical FFR. The horizontal FFR pattern suggests an acoustic nerve origin, while the vertical FFR pattern suggests a central brainstem origin. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.
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