Correlations between various measures of head size and auditory brainstem response latencies

Ron D. Chambers, Melanie L. Matthies, Scott K. Griffiths

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The literature is mixed concerning the degree to which between-subject variance in the latencies of the auditory brainstem response (ABR) relates to differences in the length of the auditory pathway. Most investigations have used one of several measures of head size to indirectly index brain size and neural pathway length. While some studies have found a positive correlation between head size and the latencies of the ABR, others have reported little or no relationship. We hypothesized that the differences between studies result from differences in the head dimensions measured, the precision of measurement technique, and issues of sampling. We therefore decided to use the International 10-20 system of electrode placement to provide reproducible skull benchmarks on which to base head size measures, to obtain measures of head size via two procedures, and to control external variables that might influence the ABR. The results show that head size has a moderate positive influence on the latencies of the ABR given precise head size measures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-187
Number of pages9
JournalHearing Research
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Sep 1989


  • Auditory brainstem response
  • Between-subject variance
  • Correlation
  • Head size

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sensory Systems


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