Effect of reduced attention on auditory amplitude-modulation following responses: a study with chirp-evoked potentials
Alegre M, Barbosa C, Valencia M, Pérez-Alcázar M, Iriarte J, Artieda J.
Neurophysiology Laboratory, Centre for Applied Medical Research, Universidad de Navarra, Pamplona, Spain.
The amplitude of the auditory amplitude-modulation following responses (AMFR) is variable, depending on the modulation rate. Although 40-Hz responses have higher amplitudes in adults, the AMFR in the 80- to 120-Hz range are less influenced by sleep and more consistent in children. The effect of attention on 40-Hz responses has been addressed in some studies; however, no study to our knowledge has investigated the effect of attention on other stimulation rates.
Our aim was to test the effect of attention on the AMFR to different frequencies of stimulation, using a chirp-modulated tone as stimulus. We recorded chirp-evoked responses in 12 subjects while attending to the sound (first condition) and reading a novel (second condition), in a randomly determined sequence. The energy of the response and the intertrial coherence (ITC) were measured by means of time-frequency transforms.
The frequency range of response was similar in both conditions. No significant differences were found in the ITC values in the 40-Hz and the 80- to 120-Hz ranges, nor in the energy of the 40-Hz response. The only statistically significant difference found was the lower energy of the response in the 80- to 120-Hz range in the reading condition. Our results suggest that attention may affect auditory steady-state clinical testing using amplitude values. Phase measures may be preferable in this context.
CITATION J Clin Neurophysiol. 2008 Feb;25(1):42-7