Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The scalp-recorded frequency following response (FFR) in humans was measured for a 244-Hz pure tone at a range of input levels and for complex tones containing harmonics 2-4 of a 300-Hz fundamental, but shifted by ±56 Hz. The effective magnitude of the cubic difference tone (CDT) and the quadratic difference tone (QDT, at F(2)-F(1)) in the FFR for the complex was estimated by comparing the magnitude spectrum of the FFR at the distortion product (DP) frequency with that for the pure tone. The effective DP levels in the FFR were higher than those commonly estimated in psychophysical experiments, indicating contributions to the DP in the FFR in addition to the audible propagated component. A low-frequency narrowband noise masker reduced the magnitude of FFR responses to the CDT but also to primary components over a wide range of frequencies. The results indicate that audible DPs may contribute very little to the DPs observed in the FFR and that using a narrowband noise for the purpose of masking audible DPs can have undesired effects on the FFR over a wide frequency range. The results are consistent with the notion that broadly tuned mechanisms central to the auditory nerve strongly influence the FFR.

Original publication




Journal article


The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America

Publication Date





2524 - 2535


MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, 15 Chaucer Road, Cambridge CB2 7EF, United Kingdom.


Cochlear Nerve, Humans, Electroencephalography, Audiometry, Pure-Tone, Acoustic Stimulation, Analysis of Variance, Perceptual Masking, Pitch Perception, Perceptual Distortion, Reaction Time, Psychoacoustics, Noise, Evoked Potentials, Auditory, Brain Stem, Time Factors, Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted, Female, Male, Young Adult