Recovery of the Human Compound Action Potential Following Prior Stimulation

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The recovery from prior stimulation of the compound action potential (CAP) was measured using a forward masking stimulus paradigm in four normal-hearing, human subjects. The CAP was recorded using a wick electrode placed on the tympanic membrane. The effects of a 4000-Hz, 97-dB SPL conditioning stimulus on CAP amplitude in response to a 4000-Hz probe were measured as a function of conditioner–probe interval for three probe levels. The normalized probe response amplitude was completely recovered to the control values at an average conditioner–probe interval of 1359 ms, similar to that observed in chinchilla (Relkin, E.M., Doucet, J.R., Sterns, A., 1995. Recovery of the compound action potential following prior stimulation: evidence for a slow component that reflects recovery of low spontaneous-rate auditory neurons, Hear. Res. 83, 183–189). The present results are interpreted as a consequence of the slow recovery of low spontaneous-rate (SR), high threshold neurons from prior stimulation (Relkin, E.M., Doucet, J.R., 1991. Recovery from prior stimulation. I: Relationship to spontaneous firing rates of primary auditory neurons. Hear. Res. 55, 215–222) and may provide indirect physiological evidence for the existence of a class of low-SR auditory neurons in humans.