Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Audiology (AuD)


Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders


Christopher Clinard

Erin Piker

Lincoln Gray


Cervical vestibular evoked myogenic potentials (cVEMPs) are widely used to evaluate saccular function in clinical and research applications. Typically, transient tonebursts are used to elicit cVEMPs. In this study, we used bone-conducted amplitude-modulated (AM) tones to elicit AMcVEMPs. This new approach allows the examination of phase-locked vestibular responses across a range of modulation frequencies. Currently, cVEMP temporal modulation transfer functions (TMTFs) are not well defined. The purposes of the present study were 1) to characterize the AMcVEMP TMTF in young, healthy individuals, 2) to compare AMcVEMP TMTFs across different analysis approaches, and 3) to determine the upper frequency limit of the AMcVEMP TMTF.

Young adults (ages 21 - 25) with no history of vestibular lesions or middle-ear pathologies participated in this study. Stimuli were amplitude-modulated tones with a carrier frequency of 500 Hz and modulation frequencies ranging from 7 to 403 Hz. Stimuli were presented at 65 dB HL via a B81 bone-oscillator.

AMcVEMP waveforms consisted of transient onset responses, steady-state responses, and transient offset responses; the behavior of these different types of responses varied with modulation frequency. Differences in the TMTF shape were noted across different measures. The amplitude TMTF had a sharp peak, while SNR and phase coherence TMTFs had broader shapes with plateaus across a range of modulation frequencies. Amplitude was maximal at modulation frequencies of 29 and 37 Hz. SNR maintained its peak value at modulation frequencies between 17 Hz and 127 Hz. Phase coherence and modulation gain maintained their peak values at modulation frequencies between 17 Hz and 143 Hz.

AMcVEMPs reflect transient onset and offset responses, as well as a sustained response with the periodicity of an amplitude-modulation frequency. AMcVEMP TMTFs had variable shapes depending on the analysis being applied to the response; amplitude had a narrow shape while others were broader. Average upper frequency limits of the AMcVEMP TMTF were as high as approximately 300 Hz in young, healthy adults.



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