The spectral (frequency) and amplitude cues in speech change rapidly over time. Study of the neural encoding of these dynamic features may help to improve diagnosis and treatment of speech-perception difficulties. This study uses tone glides as a simple approximation of dynamic speech sounds to better our understanding of the underlying neural representation of speech. The frequency following response (FFR) was recorded from 10 young normal-hearing adults using six signals varying in glide direction (rising and falling) and extent of frequency change ([Formula presented], and 1 octave). In addition, the FFR was simultaneously recorded using two different electrode montages (vertical and horizontal). These factors were analyzed across three time windows using a measure of response strength (signal-to-noise ratio) and a measure of temporal coherence (stimulus-to-response correlation coefficient). Results demonstrated effects of extent, montage, and a montage-by-window interaction. SNR and stimulus-to-response correlation measures differed in their sensitivity to these factors. These results suggest that the FFR reflects dynamic acoustic characteristics of simple tonal stimuli very well. Additional research is needed to determine how neural encoding may differ for more natural dynamic speech signals and populations with impaired auditory processing.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sensory Systems