About the Book

This book reviews how we can record the human brain’s response to sounds, and how we can use these recordings to assess hearing. These recordings are used in many different clinical situations–the identification of hearing impairment in newborn infants, the detection of tumors on the auditory nerve, the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. As well they are used to investigate how the brain is able to hear–how we can attend to particular conversations at a cocktail party and ignore others, how we learn to understand the language we are exposed to, why we have difficulty hearing when we grow old. This book is written by a single author with wide experience in all aspects of these recordings. The content is complete in terms of the essentials. The style is clear; equations are absent and figures are multiple. The intent of the book is to make learning enjoyable and meaningful. Allusions are made to fields beyond the ear, and the clinical importance of the phenomena is always considered.

About the Author

Terry Picton has studied the auditory evoked potentials for the past half-century. After his medical training, he obtained a doctorate in Neuroscience with Robert Galambos at the University of California, San Diego. He then devoted his life to research, spending twenty years in the Department of Medicine at the University of Ottawa, and fifteen years in Baycrest’s Rotman Research Institute at the University of Toronto. He is now retired.

Table Of Contents

1) Introduction: Past, Present, and Potential
2) Recording Evoked Potentials: Means to an End
3) Frequency Domain: Music of the Hemispheres
4) Finding Sources: Forward and Backward
5) Acoustic Stimuli: Sounds to Charm the Brain
6) Interpreting the Waveforms: Time and Uncertainty
7) Electrocochleography: From Song to Synapse
8) Auditory Brainstem Responses: Peaks Along the Way
9) Middle-Latency Responses: The Brain and the Brawn
10) Auditory Steady-State and Following Responses: Dancing to the Rhythms
11) Late Auditory Evoked Potentials: Changing the Things Which Are
12) Endogenous Auditory Evoked Potentials: Attention Must Be Paid
13) Infant Hearing Assessment: Opening Ears
14) Neurotology and Neurology: From Cochlea to Cortex
15) Auditory Neuropathy: When Time is Broke
16) Cochlear Implants: Body Electric
17) Concluding Comments: Beginning to Live


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