Effects of tone burst frequency and intensity on the auditory brainstem response (ABR) from albino and pigmented rats

Hearing Research
G W Overbeck, M W Church


Young adult male Sprague-Dawley (SD) and Long-Evans (LE) rats were evaluated using the auditory brainstem response (ABR). ABRs were evoked by stimuli with intensities ranging from 15 to 100 dB peSPL. Stimuli were tone bursts of 2000, 4000 and 8000 Hz. As stimulus intensity decreased from 100 to 15 dB, the ABR peak latencies prolonged, interpeak latencies (IPLs) shortened and amplitudes decreased. As stimulus frequency decreased from 8000 to 2000 Hz, ABR latencies prolonged, amplitudes decreased and ABR thresholds increased. The longest IPLs were in response to the 4000 Hz tone bursts. SD rats had ABRs with shorter peak latencies, larger amplitudes and lower thresholds than LE rats. The IPLs usually did not show significant strain-dependent differences. Our observations on stimulus intensity and frequency are consistent with previous reports. Our observations also suggest that the SD (albino) rat has better auditory acuity than the LE (pigmented) rat over the frequency range of 2000 to 8000 Hz. This implies that previous concerns about the use of albino animals in audiological research are somewhat overstated.


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Entire Brainstem
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