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J Assoc Res Otolaryngol. 2003 Jun;4(2):235-49.

Differential ear effects of profound unilateral deafness on the adult human central auditory system.

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  • 1HRL Laboratories, LLC, Malibu, CA 90265, USA.


This study investigates the effects of profound acquired unilateral deafness on the adult human central auditory system by analyzing long-latency auditory evoked potentials (AEPs) with dipole source modeling methods. AEPs, elicited by clicks presented to the intact ear in 19 adult subjects with profound unilateral deafness and monaurally to each ear in eight adult normal-hearing controls, were recorded with a 31-channel system. The responses in the 70-210 ms time window, encompassing the N1b/P2 and Ta/Tb components of the AEPs, were modeled by a vertically and a laterally oriented dipole source in each hemisphere. Peak latencies and amplitudes of the major components of the dipole waveforms were measured in the hemispheres ipsilateral and contralateral to the stimulated ear. The normal-hearing subjects showed significant ipsilateral-contralateral latency and amplitude differences, with contralateral source activities that were typically larger and peaked earlier than the ipsilateral activities. In addition, the ipsilateral-contralateral amplitude differences from monaural presentation were similar for left and for right ear stimulation. For unilaterally deaf subjects, the previously reported reduction in ipsilateral-contralateral amplitude differences based on scalp waveforms was also observed in the dipole source waveforms. However, analysis of the source dipole activity demonstrated that the reduced inter-hemispheric amplitude differences were ear dependent. Specifically, these changes were found only in those subjects affected by profound left ear unilateral deafness.

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