Test-retest reliability of the 40 Hz EEG auditory steady-state response

Kristina T. Legget, Sarah E. Steinmetz, Adam M. Carroll, Steven T. Simon, Angus K. Wallace, Donald C. Rojas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


Auditory evoked steady-state responses are increasingly being used as a marker of brain function and dysfunction in various neuropsychiatric disorders, but research investigating the test-retest reliability of this response is lacking. The purpose of this study was to assess the consistency of the auditory steady-state response (ASSR) across sessions. Furthermore, the current study aimed to investigate how the reliability of the ASSR is impacted by stimulus parameters and analysis method employed. The consistency of this response across two sessions spaced approximately 1 week apart was measured in nineteen healthy adults using electroencephalography (EEG). The ASSR was entrained by both 40 Hz amplitude-modulated white noise and click train stimuli. Correlations between sessions were assessed with two separate analytical techniques: a) channel-level analysis across the whole-head array and b) signal-space projection from auditory dipoles. Overall, the ASSR was significantly correlated between sessions 1 and 2 (p<0.05, multiple comparison corrected), suggesting adequate test-retest reliability of this response. The current study also suggests that measures of inter-trial phase coherence may be more reliable between sessions than measures of evoked power. Results were similar between the two analysis methods, but reliability varied depending on the presented stimulus, with click train stimuli producing more consistent responses than white noise stimuli.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere85748
JournalPLoS One
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jan 2014


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