Exposing distinct subcortical components of the auditory brainstem response evoked by continuous naturalistic speech

Melissa J. Polonenko, Ross K. Maddox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Speech processing is built upon encoding by the auditory nerve and brainstem, yet we know very little about how these processes unfold in specific subcortical structures. These structures are deep and respond quickly, making them difficult to study during ongoing speech. Recent techniques have begun to address this problem, but yield temporally broad responses with consequently ambiguous neural origins. Here, we describe a method that pairs re-synthesized 'peaky' speech with deconvolution analysis of electroencephalography recordings. We show that in adults with normal hearing the method quickly yields robust responses whose component waves reflect activity from distinct subcortical structures spanning auditory nerve to rostral brainstem. We further demonstrate the versatility of peaky speech by simultaneously measuring bilateral and ear-specific responses across different frequency bands and discuss the important practical considerations such as talker choice. The peaky speech method holds promise as a tool for investigating speech encoding and processing, and for clinical applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere62329
Pages (from-to)1-67
Number of pages67
JournaleLife
Volume10
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 17 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by National Institute for Deafness and Other Communication Disorders

Funding Information:
This work was supported by National Institute for Deafness and Other Communication Disorders [R00DC014288] awarded to RKM.. Python code is available on the lab GitHub account (https://github.com/maddoxlab/peaky-speech). All EEG recordings are available in the EEG-BIDS format (Pernet et al., 2019) on Dryad (https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.12jm63xwd). Stimulus files and python code necessary to derive the peaky speech responses are deposited to the same Dryad repository.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, eLife Sciences Publications Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Assessment
  • Auditory brainstem response
  • Electroencephalography
  • Evoked potentials
  • Speech

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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