Neonate Auditory Brainstem Responses to CE-Chirp and CE-Chirp Octave Band Stimuli II: Versus Adult Auditory Brainstem Responses

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The purpose of the study was to examine the differences in auditory brainstem response (ABR) latency and amplitude indices to the CE-Chirp stimuli in neonates versus young adults as a function of stimulus level, rate, polarity, frequency and gender.


Participants were 168 healthy neonates and 20 normal-hearing young adults. ABRs were obtained to air- and bone-conducted CE-Chirps and air-conducted CE-Chirp octave band stimuli. The effects of stimulus level, rate, and polarity were examined with air-conducted CE-Chirps. The effect of stimulus level was also examined with bone-conducted CE-Chirps and CE-Chirp octave band stimuli. The effect of gender was examined across all stimulus manipulations.


In general, ABR wave V amplitudes were significantly larger (p < 0.0001) and latencies were significantly shorter (p < 0.0001) for adults versus neonates for all air-conducted CE-Chirp stimuli with all stimulus manipulations. For bone-conducted CE-Chirps, infants had significantly shorter wave V latencies than adults at 15 dB nHL and 45 dB nHL (p = 0.02). Adult wave V amplitude was significantly larger for bone-conducted CE-Chirps only at 30 dB nHL (p = 0.02). The effect of gender was not statistically significant across all measures (p > 0.05).


Significant differences in ABR latencies and amplitudes exist between newborns and young adults using CE-Chirp stimuli. These differences are consistent with differences to traditional click and tone burst stimuli and reflect maturational differences as a function of age. These findings continue to emphasize the importance of interpreting ABR results using age-based normative data.

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