Auditory Frequency-Following Response: Neural or Artifact?

Science  18 Sep 1970:
Vol. 169, Issue 3951, pp. 1222-1223
DOI: 10.1126/science.169.3951.1222


An electrical response which reproduces the waveform and frequency of the sound stimulus can be recorded from the central neural pathway for audition. Controversy has existed for some years over whether this frequency-following response (FFR) is neural or an artifact such as remote pickup of the cochlear microphonic or cross talk in the recording system. Two experiments resolve this issue by demonstrating that the frequency-following response depends upon functionally intact neural pathways. The frequency-following response, as well as auditory evoked potentials, is abolished by section of the eighth nerve; it is reversibly abolished by cooling of the cochlear nucleus.