J Am Acad Audiol 2020; 31(08): 559-565
DOI: 10.1055/s-0040-1709517
Research Article

Auditory Gating in Hearing Loss

Julia Campbell
1   Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas
2   Central Sensory Processes Laboratory, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas
Mashhood Nielsen
1   Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas
2   Central Sensory Processes Laboratory, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas
Connor Bean
1   Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas
2   Central Sensory Processes Laboratory, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas
Alison LaBrec
1   Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas
2   Central Sensory Processes Laboratory, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas
› Author Affiliations
Funding This work was supported by the Hearing Health Foundation Emerging Research Grant, through support from Les Paul Foundation (2016), and the Texas Speech–Language–Hearing Foundation Lear Ashmore Research Fund (2016).


Background Sensory gating is a measure used to evaluate inhibitory deficits underlying neurological disorders. However, the effects of hearing loss (HL), thought to decrease inhibition, remain unknown on gating function.

Purpose The goal of this study was to investigate gating performance in HL.

Research Design This was a prospective, cross-sectional study with independent group comparison and correlational design.

Study Sample Eleven adults (mean age/standard deviation = 47.546 ± 7.967 years) with normal hearing (NH) and 11 adults (mean age/standard deviation = 56.273 ± 13.871 years) with mild–moderate high-frequency HL.

Data Collection and Analysis Cortical auditory evoked potentials (CAEPs) were recorded in response to tonal pairs via high-density electroencephalography. The CAEP response to the second tone in the pair (S2) was compared with the response to the first tone in the pair (S1) within groups. Amplitude gating indices were compared between groups and correlated with auditory behavioral measures. Current density reconstructions were performed to estimate cortical gating generators.

Results Amplitude gating indices were decreased and correlated with elevated auditory thresholds. Gating generators in temporal, frontal, and prefrontal regions were localized in the NH group, while HL gating was localized in mainly temporal and parietal areas.

Conclusions Reduced inhibition may be associated with compensatory cortical gating networks in HL and should be considered when utilizing gating in clinical populations.

Publication History

Received: 23 July 2019

Accepted: 30 December 2019

Article published online:
27 April 2020

© 2020. American Academy of Audiology. This article is published by Thieme.

Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc.
333 Seventh Avenue, 18th Floor, New York, NY 10001, USA

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