Case studies in neuroscience: subcortical origins of the frequency-following response

Travis White-Schwoch, Samira Anderson, Jennifer Krizman, Trent Nicol, Nina Kraus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)844-848
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of neurophysiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Physiology


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