Analysis of auditory evoked potentials by magnitude-squared coherence

Robert A Dobie, Michael J. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Evoked potentials are usually analyzed in the time domain (voltage versus time). The most familiar frequency-domain measure, the power spectral density function, displays power as a function of frequency but doesn’t distinguish signal power from noise power. The coherence function estimates, for each frequency, the ratio of signal power to total (signal plus noise) power and, thus, indicates the degree to which system output (scalp potential) is determined by input (acoustic stimulus). Coherence ranges from 0 to 1; values above specified critical values can be accepted as demonstrating statistically significant system response. In this paper, we present coherence analysis of human scalp responses to clicks and amplitude-modulated tones. In both cases, this analytic method provides insight into the spectral character of the response (for example, assisting in specifying desirable filter characteristics). Threshold sensitivity is also improved: statistically significant responses can be detected at lower intensity by coherence analysis than by inspection of timedomain waveforms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2-13
Number of pages12
JournalEar and Hearing
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1980
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Speech and Hearing


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