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Temporal distortion products (kernel slices) evoked by maximum-length-sequences in auditory neuropathy: evidence for a cochlear pre-synaptic origin.

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  • 1Universit√© Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium.

Abstract

When special pseudo-random stimuli sequences (maximum length sequences: MLS) are combined with a deconvolution analysis technique, it is possible to derive new evoked potential components that are called kernels. The kernels give a measure of the temporal interactions that take place between the responses to successive stimuli. This may provide an objective neurophysiological test for the exploration of a dimension of hearing which has hitherto been limited to psychophysical methods. Until now, auditory short-latency kernels obtained by the MLS method have been related to the late portion of the brainstem auditory evoked potential (BAEP), suggesting that temporal interactions occur rather late in the auditory pathways. We report 4 children without any BAEP neural components, who all retained isolated cochlear microphonic potentials. Three of them produced click-evoked otoacoustic emissions and two of them demonstrated only moderately impaired audiometric thresholds. This combination of absent BAEP neural components with preserved otoacoustic emissions and cochlear microphonic potential corresponds to a peculiar pattern of auditory dysfunction recently coined "auditory neuropathy'. All 4 children exhibited well-defined kernels at latencies consistent with the microphonic potential. These data indicate that the cochlea itself can generate kernels at a presynaptic level. They open up the question of the identification of the physiological site(s) responsible for the generation of MLS-evoked kernels.

PMID:
9076248
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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