The auditory frequency-following response (FFR) reflects synchronized and phase-locked activity along the auditory pathway in response to sound. Although FFRs were historically thought to reflect subcortical activity, recent evidence suggests an auditory cortex contribution as well. Here we present electrophysiological evidence for the FFR’s origins from two cases: a patient with bilateral auditory cortex lesions and a patient with auditory neuropathy, a condition of subcortical origin. The patient with auditory cortex lesions had robust and replicable FFRs, but no cortical responses. In contrast, the patient with auditory neuropathy had no FFR despite robust and replicable cortical responses. This double dissociation shows that subcortical synchrony is necessary and sufficient to generate an FFR.
ASJC Scopus subject areas