Reduction in excitability of the auditory nerve following electrical simulation at high stimulus rates. II. Comparison of fixed amplitude with amplitude modulated stimuli
AuthorTYKOCINSKI, MICHAEL; Shepherd, Robert K.; Clark, Graeme M.
Source TitleHearing Research
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsTykocinski, M., Shepherd, R. K., & Clark, G. M. (1997). Reduction in excitability of the auditory nerve following electrical simulation at high stimulus rates. II. Comparison of fixed amplitude with amplitude modulated stimuli. Hearing Research, 112, 147-157.
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We have previously shown that acute electrical stimulation of the auditory nerve using charge-balanced biphasic current pulses presented continuously can lead to a prolonged decrement in auditory nerve excitability (Tykocinski et al., Hear. Res. 88 (1995), 124-142). This work also demonstrated a reduction in electrically evoked auditory brainstem response (EABR) amplitude decrement when using an otherwise equivalent pulse train with a 50% duty cycle. In the present study we have extended this work in order to compare the effects of electrical stimulation using both fixed amplitude electrical pulse trains and amplitude modulated (AM) pulse trains that more accurately model the dynamic stimulus paradigms used in cochlear implants. EABRs were recorded from guinea pigs following acute stimulation using AM trains of charge-balanced biphasic current pulses. The extent of stimulus-induced reductions in the EABR were compared with our previous results using either fixed amplitude continuous, or 50% duty cycle pulse trains operating at 0.34 µC/phase (2 mA, 170 µs/phase) at 400 or 1000 pulses/s (Tykocinski et al., Hear. Res. 88 (1995) 124-142). The AM pulse train, operating at the same rates, was based on a I-s sequence of the most extensively activated electrode of a Nucleus Mini-22 cochlear implant using the SPEAK speech processing strategy exposed to 4-talker babble, and delivered the same total charge as the fixed amplitude 50% duty cycle pulse train. Two hours of continuous stimulation induced a significant, rate-dependent reduction in auditory nerve excitability, and showed only a slight post-stimulus recovery for monitoring periods of up to 6 hours. Following 2 or 4 h of stimulation using an otherwise equivalent pulse train with a 50% duty cycle or the AM pulse train, significantly less reduction in the EABR was observed, and recovery to pre-stimulus levels was generally rapid and complete. These differences in the extent of the recovery between the continuous waveform and both the 50% duty cycle and AM waveforms were statistically significant for both 400 and 1000 pulses/s stimuli. Consistent with our previous results, the stimulus changes observed using AM pulse trains were rate dependent, with higher rate stimuli evoking more extensive stimulus-induced changes. The present findings show that while stimulus-induced reductions in neural excitability are dependent on the extent of stimulus-induced neuronal activity, the use of an AM stimulus paradigm further reduces post-stimulus neural fatigue.
Keywordscochlear implant; high-rate electrical stimulation; auditory nerve; neural damage; electrically evoked auditory brainstem response
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