The auditory steady state response (ASSR) is an oscillatory brain response, which is phase locked to the rhythm of an auditory stimulus. ASSRs have been recorded in response to a wide frequency range of modulation and/or repetition, but the physiological features of the ASSRs are somewhat different depending on the modulation frequency. Recently, the 20-Hz ASSR has been emphasized in clinical examinations, especially in the area of psychiatry. However, little is known about the physiological properties of the 20-Hz ASSR, compared to those of the 40-Hz and 80-Hz ASSRs. The effects of contralateral noise on the ASSR are known to depend on the modulation frequency to evoke ASSR. However, the effects of contralateral noise on the 20-Hz ASSR are not known. Here we assessed the effects of contralateral white noise at a level of 70 dB SPL on the 20-Hz and 40-Hz ASSRs using a helmet-shaped magnetoencephalography system in 9 healthy volunteers (8 males and 1 female, mean age 31.2 years). The ASSRs were elicited by monaural 1000-Hz 5-s tone bursts amplitude-modulated at 20 and 39 Hz and presented at 80 dB SPL. Contralateral noise caused significant suppression of both the 20-Hz and 40-Hz ASSRs, although suppression was significantly smaller for the 20-Hz ASSRs than the 40-Hz ASSRs. Moreover, the greatest suppression of both 20-Hz and 40-Hz ASSRs occurred in the right hemisphere when stimuli were presented to the right ear with contralateral noise. The present study newly showed that 20-Hz ASSRs are suppressed by contralateral noise, which may be important both for characterization of the 20-Hz ASSR and for interpretation in clinical situations. Physicians must be aware that the 20-Hz ASSR is significantly suppressed by sound (e.g. masking noise or binaural stimulation) applied to the contralateral ear.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)