Human frequency-following responses (FFR) to voice pitch have provided valuable information on how the human brainstem processes speech information. Recordings of the FFR to voice pitch, however, may overlap when insufficient silent intervals are used. To determine the shortest silent interval that can be used with no overlap between adjacent response waveforms, FFRs were recorded from twelve Chinese adults using a wide range of silent intervals. The stimulus token was a Chinese monosyllable with a rising pitch of 117 to 166 Hz and a duration of 250 ms. A high stimulus intensity at 70 dB SPL was used to maximize overlaps in the response waveforms. A total of seven silent intervals, ranging from the full length of the stimulus duration down to approximately half period of the fundamental frequency of the stimulus token, were administered at a random order across participants. Two distinct methods (Hilbert transform and root-mean-square amplitudes) were used to delineate the envelopes and overlaps of the response waveforms. A one-way repeated measures ANOVA was significant (p=0.038) in defining the magnitude of overlaps for the 10 ms pre-stimulus interval. The results indicated the shortest silent interval that could be used without compromising the response is 35-45 ms.

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