Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Raymond M. Hurley, Ph.D., Chair

Committee Member

Jennifer J. Lister, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Richard A. Roberts, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Robert F. Zelski, Au.D.


Binaural interaction component, Auditory brainstem response, Binaural psychoacoustic functions, Stimulus rate effect


The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of the binaural interaction component (BIC) in a large sample of normal hearing adults, and to measure the absolute latency and amplitude of the BIC as a function of the click rate of the stimulus and the electrode montage. The BIC is obtained by subtracting the auditory evoked potential waveform obtained with binaural stimulation from the waveform obtained by adding the responses from the left and right monaural stimulation. The tested hypothesis was that the recordings of the BIC vary among normal hearing individuals, and BIC latency and amplitude values change as a function of stimulus rate. Studies of the BIC help to explain the neural correlates of some binaural processes, and to develop an electrophysiological index of binaural processes for objective clinical evaluations.

Data was completed and analyzed on 47 adults between the ages of 20 and 41 (mean = 25) with hearing in the normal range (thresholds less than or equal to 20 dB HL at 500, 1000, 2000, and 4000 Hz in each ear) and no known neurological disorders. The results revealed a great variability in BIC morphology between subjects. The BIC waveforms were categorized into five distinct groups according to the number of positive and negative peaks present. Chi-square analyses revealed a significant relationship between click rate and BIC category; however, the relationship between recording montage and BIC category was insignificant. An Analysis of Variance (ANOVAs) revealed a significant increase in absolute latency and decrease in absolute amplitude of both negative and positive peaks as click rate increased from 7.7/s to 57.7/s. The results did not reveal a significant change in the type of BIC as an effect of electrode montage.

In conclusion, the BIC within the binaural difference waveform may be obtained in the majority of young individuals with normal hearing. Specifically, a slower stimulus rate revealed more components of the waveform, as well as an improvement in the morphology of the BIC compared to a faster stimulus rate. As these findings may aid in the development of an electrophysiological index of binaural neural processes in young individuals with normal hearing, more research should be attempted in the study of BIC in other age groups and patients with different audiograms.