Auditory neurophysiology reveals central nervous system dysfunction in HIV-infected individuals

Travis White-Schwoch, Albert K. Magohe, Abigail M. Fellows, Catherine C. Rieke, Brandon Vilarello, Trent Nicol, Enica R. Massawe, Ndeserua Moshi, Nina Kraus*, Jay C. Buckey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Objective: To test the hypothesis that human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) affects auditory-neurophysiological functions. Methods: A convenience sample of 68 HIV+ and 59 HIV- normal-hearing adults was selected from a study set in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The speech-evoked frequency-following response (FFR), an objective measure of auditory function, was collected. Outcome measures were FFRs to the fundamental frequency (F0) and to harmonics corresponding to the first formant (F1), two behaviorally relevant cues for understanding speech. Results: The HIV+ group had weaker responses to the F1 than the HIV- group; this effect generalized across multiple stimuli (d = 0.59). Responses to the F0 were similar between groups. Conclusions: Auditory-neurophysiological responses differ between HIV+ and HIV- adults despite normal hearing thresholds. Significance: The FFR may reflect HIV-associated central nervous system dysfunction that manifests as disrupted auditory processing of speech harmonics corresponding to the first formant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1827-1832
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Neurophysiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2020


  • Auditory neurophysiology
  • Auditory processing
  • Electrophysiology
  • Frequency-following response
  • HIV

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sensory Systems
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


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