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Hear Res. 2000 Mar;141(1-2):180-8.

A saccular origin of frequency tuning in myogenic vestibular evoked potentials?: implications for human responses to loud sounds.

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Department of Psychology, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK.


Previous research has indicated that an early component of click-evoked myogenic potentials in the sternocleidomastoid muscle is vestibularly mediated, since it can be obtained in subjects with loss of cochlear function, but is absent in subjects with loss of vestibular function (Colebatch et al., 1994). We report here the results of an experiment to investigate whether this response shows any tuning properties. In a sample of 11 subjects, we obtained acoustically evoked EMG from the sternocleidomastoid muscle in response to 110 dB SPL 10 ms tone pips with frequencies of 100 Hz, 200 Hz, 400 Hz, 800 Hz, 1600 Hz and 3200 Hz. The results of this experiment indicate that this response does indeed have a well-defined frequency tuning which may be modelled as a resonance with a maximum response at frequencies between 300-350 Hz. The possible saccular origin of the tuning response and the consequences that this may have in human responses to loud sounds is discussed. Also discussed are the consequences of particular electrode arrangements in relation to the innervation and anatomy of sternocleidomastoid.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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