Archives of oto-rhino-laryngology

, Volume 233, Issue 2, pp 179–187 | Cite as

Habituation and rate effect in the auditory cortical potentials evoked by trains of stimuli

  • S. Prosser
  • E. Arslan
  • S. Michelini


The effects of the stimulus repetition rate over the habituated auditory cortical evoked responses were studied. The stimulation pattern consisted of trains of pure tone bursts with interstimulus interval (ISI) of 1 s, and intertrain interval (ITI) of 5 s, delivered with constant time and intensity parameters during 93 min. The analysis of the responses was based upon across averaging of the trains, each single response being evaluated in the latency and amplitude parameters. Two time-dependent factors affected the responses in a distinct way: the habituation throughout the whole stimulation and the rate effect within the train. The linear regressions of the time/amplitude functions of the responses were calculated in relation to the duration of ISI and ITI. By introducing a correction factor depending on the repetition rate it was possible to evaluate the relationships between habituation and repetition rate. Changes in the repetition rate do not have any effect on the habituation process. The two phenomena are completely distinct, and they probably have neurophysiologic substrates corresponding to different levels in the central nervous system (CNS).

Key words

Auditory habituation Electric response audiometry Cortical evoked potentials 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Butler RA (1973) The cumulative effects of different stimulus repetition rates on the auditory evoked responses in man. Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol 35:337–345Google Scholar
  2. Davis H, Zerlin S (1966) Acoustic relations of the human vertex potentials. J Acoust Soc Am 39:109–116Google Scholar
  3. Fruhstorfer H (1971) Habituation and dishabituation of the human vertex response. Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol 30:306–312Google Scholar
  4. Groves PM, Thompson RF (1970) Habituation: a dual-process theory. Psychol Rev 77:412–450Google Scholar
  5. Hernandez-Peon R (1960) Neurophysiological correlates of habituation and other plastic inhibition (internal inhibition). Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol [Suppl] 13:101–114Google Scholar
  6. Öhman A, Lader M (1977) Short-term changes of the human auditory evoked potentials during repeatitive stimulation. In: Auditory evoked potentials in man. vol 2. Karger, Basel, pp 93–118Google Scholar
  7. Peek AVS, Herz MJ (1973) Habituation. Handbook, vol I. Academic Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  8. Picton TW, Hillyard SA (1974) Human auditory evoked potentials II: effects of attention. Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol 36:191–199Google Scholar
  9. Picton TW, Hillyard SA (1976) Habituation and attention in the auditory system. In: Handbook of sensory physiology, vol V/3. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York, pp 343–389Google Scholar
  10. Picton TW, Woods DL, Proulx GB (1978) Human auditory sustained potentials I: the nature of the response. Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol 45:186–197Google Scholar
  11. Ritter W, Waughan HG, Costa LD (1968) Orienting and habituation to auditory stimuli: a study of short term changes in average evoked responses. Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol 25:550–556Google Scholar
  12. Roeser RJ, Price LL (1970) Effects of habituation on the auditory evoked responses. J Acoust Soc Am 47:366–373Google Scholar
  13. Webster WR (1971) The effects of repetitive stimulation on auditory evoked potentials. Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol 30:318–330Google Scholar
  14. Worden FG, Marsh JT (1963) Amplitude changes of auditory evoked potentials of cochlear nucleous during acoustic habituation. Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol 15:866–881Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Prosser
    • 1
  • E. Arslan
    • 1
  • S. Michelini
    • 2
  1. 1.Dept. of OtorhinolaryngologyUniversity of FerraraFerraraItaly
  2. 2.Institute of Human PhysiologyUniversity of FerraraFerraraItaly

Personalised recommendations