Masking of auditory brainstem responses in young and aged gerbils.

Hearing research

PubMedID: 8600113

Boettcher FA, Mills JH, Dubno JR, Schmiedt RA. Masking of auditory brainstem responses in young and aged gerbils. Hear Res. 1995;89(1-2):1-13.
Auditory brainstem responses (ABR) were recorded in the presence of low-pass (1 kHz cutoff) or high-pass (8 kHz cutoff) filtered noise in young (4-8 month) and aged (36 month) gerbils. For low-pass maskers, aged gerbils had higher masked thresholds at 2 and 4 kHz than young subjects. This was true for all aged subjects, including those with quiet thresholds similar to those of young controls. For high-pass masking, the majority of aged subjects had higher masked thresholds at 2 and 4 kHz than young controls; however, aged subjects with relatively normal quiet thresholds had masked thresholds similar to those of young subjects. A modified power-law (MPL) model was used to predict masked thresholds for aged subjects. Thresholds measured in the presence of low-pass noise were higher than predicted in many of the aged subjects, particularly those with near-normal quiet thresholds. In contrast, thresholds measured in the presence of the high-pass masker were similar to the predicted thresholds. These results suggest that: (a) excess masking occurred in aged subjects for low-pass, but not high-pass, maskers; (b) the excess masking occurred independently of quiet thresholds; and (c) excess upward spread of masking was related to the spectrum of the masker and not the 2 and 4 kHz regions of the auditory periphery.