Phase-locked cortical responses to a human speech sound and low-frequency tones in the monkey

Mitchell Steinschneider, Joseph Arezzo, Herbert G. Vaughan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Concurrent recordings of average evoked potentials (AEP) and multiple unit activity (MUA) in monkey primary cortex to the syllable /da/, low-frequency tones, and clicks were performed. The AEP in response to the syllable consisted of a periodic alternation superimposed upon slower phasic deflections. All components inverted across the superior temporal plane, indicating their auditory cortical origin. The periodic activity was phase-locked to the syllable's fundamental frequency at a latency of approximately 11 msec. MUA displayed a similar pattern of periodic activity, but with a shorter interval between stimulus and response peaks. This phase-locked MUA occurred only at regions of AEP polarity inversion. Phase-locked activity was also observed in the cortical AEP to 100 and 250 Hz, but not to 500 Hz tonal stimulation. MUA phase-locked to the stimulus frequency only occurred at 100 Hz. Both the periodic and slow components of the AEP were volume-conducted to the dorsal cortical surface. This finding suggests the possibility that similar cortical responses to speech sounds can be recorded from the human scalp.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-84
Number of pages10
JournalBrain research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1980


  • average evoked potentials
  • cortex
  • multiple unit activity
  • phase-locked responses
  • syllable
  • tones

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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