On the relationship between speech- and nonspeech-evoked auditory brainstem responses

J. H. Song*, K. Banai, N. M. Russo, Nina Kraus

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


Auditory brainstem response (ABR) reflects activation of the neural generators along the ascending auditory pathway when a sound is heard. In this study, we explored the relationship between brainstem encoding of click and speech signals in normal-learning children and in those with language-based learning problems. To that end, ABR was recorded from both types of stimuli. We found that the normal pattern of correlation between click- and speech-evoked ABRs was disrupted when speech-evoked ABRs were delayed. Thus, delayed responses to speech were not indicative of clinically abnormal responses to clicks. We conclude that these two responses reflect largely separate neural processes and that only processes involved in encoding complex signals such as speech are impaired in children with learning problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)233-241
Number of pages9
JournalAudiology and Neurotology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 1 2006


  • Auditory brainstem response
  • Auditory processing
  • Learning disability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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