Auditory responses to the envelopes of pseudorandom noise stimuli in humans

Robert A. Dobie, Michael J. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Averaged scalp potentials evoked by continuous pseudorandom noise can be cross-correlated with the evoking stimulus, yielding a cross-correlation function (CCF) which reflects neural phase-locking and is quite sensitive for low-frequency stimulus components [M.J. Wilson and R.A. Dobie (1987) Electroencephalogr. Clin. Neurophysiol. 66, 529-538]. However, for higher frequency signals, replicable CCFs can only be obtained at moderate to high intensities. Since auditory neurons also respond to envelopes of complex sounds, even for high-frequency carriers, we compared scalp responses evoked by band-limited complex sounds to the envelopes of these sounds; the resultant envelope cross-correlation functions (ECCFs) contained replicable response components primarily below 1000 Hz, regardless of the evoking stimulus spectrum. ECCF thresholds for three octave-band stimuli (830-1562, 1611-3125, and 3174-6201 Hz) were more sensitive than CCF thresholds (P = 0.006), averaging 35 dB spectrum level for 10 normal subjects. When stimuli with only odd harmonics were used, replicable odd-component scalp responses were seen only in the spectral range of the stimuli, while even-component responses (presumably to stimulus envelope) were seen only in low-passed scalp responses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-20
Number of pages12
JournalHearing Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 1988


  • Amplitude-modulated tones
  • Auditory evoked potentials
  • Cross-correlation
  • Human subjects
  • Linear systems analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sensory Systems


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