Comparison of signal preprocessing techniques for avoiding spectral leakage in auditory steady-state responses

  • Felipe AntunesEmail author
  • Leonardo Bonato Felix
Technical Communication



The auditory steady-state response (ASSR) can be detected with the magnitude-squared coherence (MSC)—which is an objective response detector in the frequency domain. The performance of detection techniques is affected by the spectral leakage that arises from the Fourier analysis.


This study aimed at investigating two preprocessing techniques designed to mitigate spectral leakage: windowing and bandpass filtering. These two procedures were applied prior to the application of the MSC in the detection of ASSRs in the electroencephalogram of healthy volunteers. The ASSRs were evoked by amplitude modulated tones.


Preprocessing techniques usually improve the performance of MSC, but windowing procedures were worse when compared to filtering. The filtering preprocessing improved the detection rate up to 145.7%. The false positive rates remained close to the significance level of the tests.


In order to mitigate the spectral leakage effects on the performance of MSC in detecting ASSR, bandpass filtering is preferred to windowing. The best results were obtained by 8th order IIR filters (Butterworth, Type 1 Chebyshev, and Elliptic).


Auditory steady-state response Magnitude-squared coherence Spectral leakage 


Funding information

This work received financial support of the Brazilian Agencies: CAPES-Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior, CNPq–Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico and FAPEMIG–Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de Minas Gerais.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

Work approved by the Local Ethics Committee. (UFV/CAAE: 56346916.4.0000.5153)


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Copyright information

© Sociedade Brasileira de Engenharia Biomedica 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Federal Institute of Education Science and Technology of Minas GeraisIpatingaBrazil
  2. 2.Graduate Program in Electrical EngineeringFederal University of São João del-ReiSão João del-ReiBrazil
  3. 3.Department of Electrical EngineeringFederal University of ViçosaViçosaBrazil
  4. 4.Interdisciplinary Center for Signal Analysis, Department of Electrical EngineeringFederal University of ViçosaViçosaBrazil

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