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A temporal component of the auditory evoked response.


We studied the 75-225 msec portion of the auditory evoked response (AER) in 32 normal adults at vertex (Cz) and temporal (T3 and T4) placements referred to a balanced, noncephalic reference electrode using a monaural 1 msec click stimulus delivered every 4.7 sec at 60 dB above threshold. The tape-recorded EEG was filtered at 1-25 c/sec, and 128 individual responses were summed, sampling every 0.5 msec for 250 msec post-stimulation. The Cz AERs showed the classic vertex response, a negative peak, N1, at 100 msec, followed by a positive peak, P2, at 160-200 msec. The T3 and T4 AERs were similar to the Cz AERs from 0 to 80 msec and from 200 to 250 msec. They differed significantly from the Cz AERs from 80 to 200 msec. The difference is best explained by the hypothesis that the Cz AERs consisted of N1P2, while the T3 and T4 AERs consisted of N1P2 plus an additional superimposed component, which we called the T complex, comprising a positive peak, Ta, at 105-110 msec, and a negative peak, Tb, at 150-160 msec. By computer, the corresponding Cz and T3 or T4 AERs were normalized to equalize their amplitudes, and the former was subtracted from the latter, thus isolating the T complex. The Ta peak was found to occur 1.5 +/- 1.6 msec earlier at the electrode contralateral to stimulation, and 2.2 +/- 4.0 msec earlier at the T4 (right) electrode. Both differences were statistically significant. The T complex amplitude was greater at the electrode contralateral to stimulation and at the T4 electrode. These findings appear to resolve current controversies concerning the form of the temporal AER. While N1P2 is apparently a product of widespread areas of cortex, we conclude that the T complex is probably a product of secondary auditory cortex.

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