J Am Acad Audiol 2002; 13(05): 246-259
DOI: 10.1055/s-0040-1715968
American Academy of Audiology. All rights reserved. (2002) American Academy of Audiology

Advantages and Caveats When Recording Steady-State Responses to Multiple Simultaneous Stimuli

M. Sasha John
David W. Purcell
Andrew Dimitrijevic
Terence W. Picton
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Publication Date:
07 August 2020 (online)

This article considers the efficiency of evoked potential audiometry using steady-state responses evoked by multiple simultaneous stimuli with carrier frequencies at 500, 1000, 2000, and 4000 Hz. The general principles of signal-to-noise enhancement through averaging provide a basis for determining the time required to estimate thresholds. The advantage of the multiple-stimulus technique over a single-stimulus approach is less than the ratio of the number of stimuli presented. When testing two ears simultaneously, the advantage is typically that the multiple-stimulus technique is two to three times faster. One factor that increases the time of the multiple-response recording is the relatively small size of responses at 500 and 4000 Hz. Increasing the intensities of the 500- and 4000-Hz stimuli by 10 or 20 dB can enhance their responses without significantly changing the other responses. Using multiple simultaneous stimuli causes small changes in the responses compared with when the responses are evoked by single stimuli. The clearest of these interactions is the attenuation of the responses to low-frequency stimuli in the presence of higher-frequency stimuli. Although these interactions are interesting physiologically, their small size means that they do not lessen the advantages of the multiple-stimulus approach.