Stimulus Repetition Rate and the Reference Levels for Clicks and Short Tone Bursts: A Warning to Audiologists, Researchers, Calibration Laboratories, and Equipment Manufacturers Purpose To make the audiologic community aware of a technical issue with potential for misunderstanding that could affect the design, calibration, and use of auditory brainstem response (ABR) systems. Method Two international standards published in 2007 relating to the stimuli commonly used in ABR tests were studied and ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 2007
Stimulus Repetition Rate and the Reference Levels for Clicks and Short Tone Bursts: A Warning to Audiologists, Researchers, Calibration Laboratories, and Equipment Manufacturers
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Guy Lightfoot
    Royal Liverpool University Hospital, Liverpool, United Kingdom
  • Yvonne Sininger
    University of California, Los Angeles
  • Robert Burkard
    State University of New York, Buffalo
  • Andre Lodwig
    Technical University of Munich, Germany
  • Contact author: Guy Lightfoot, Department of Clinical Engineering, Royal Liverpool University Hospital, Prescot Street, Liverpool L7 8XP, United Kingdom. E-mail: g.lightfoot@liverpool.ac.uk.
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Research Article
Research Article   |   December 01, 2007
Stimulus Repetition Rate and the Reference Levels for Clicks and Short Tone Bursts: A Warning to Audiologists, Researchers, Calibration Laboratories, and Equipment Manufacturers
American Journal of Audiology, December 2007, Vol. 16, 94-95. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2007/012)
History: Received August 2, 2007 , Accepted August 7, 2007
 
American Journal of Audiology, December 2007, Vol. 16, 94-95. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2007/012)
History: Received August 2, 2007; Accepted August 7, 2007

Purpose To make the audiologic community aware of a technical issue with potential for misunderstanding that could affect the design, calibration, and use of auditory brainstem response (ABR) systems.

Method Two international standards published in 2007 relating to the stimuli commonly used in ABR tests were studied and the behavior of a commercially available ABR system examined with regard to the relationship between stimulus level and repetition rate.

Results There is potential for misunderstanding of the need to compensate for the effect of stimulus rate on stimulus level. Although rapidly presented stimuli appear louder as the rate is increased, it is inappropriate to compensate for this when calibrating the stimulus level of ABR systems.

Conclusions Users of ABR systems should, if possible, use the stimulus reference levels now available in an international standard rather than establish local values. No adjustment of level should be made to account for different stimulus repetition rates. Users of ABR systems should check their systems to ensure that no automatic level adjustment is made; if necessary, equipment manufacturers should be consulted.

Acknowledgment
The Council of the IERASG has established a Standardisation Reference Group, of which the authors are members. This communication has been its first task.
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