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J Acoust Soc Am. 2008 Aug;124(2):1093-104. doi: 10.1121/1.2949518.

Comparison of behavioral and auditory brainstem response measures of threshold shift in rats exposed to loud sound.

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Department of Psychology, University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio 43606, USA.


The purpose of this study was to determine how closely the auditory brainstem response (ABR) can estimate sensorineural threshold shifts in rats exposed to loud sound. Behavioral and ABR thresholds were obtained for tones or noise before and after exposure to loud sound. The results showed that the ABR threshold shift obtained with tone pips estimated the initial pure-tone threshold shifts to within +/-5 dB 11% of the time and the permanent pure-tone threshold shifts 55% of the time, both with large errors. Determining behavioral thresholds for the same tone pips used for the ABR did not improve the agreement between the measures. In contrast, the ABR obtained with octave noise estimated the initial threshold shifts for that noise to within +/-5 dB 25% of the time and the permanent threshold shifts 89% of the time, with much smaller errors. Thus, it appears that the noise-evoked ABR is more accurate in estimating threshold shift than the tone-evoked ABR.

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