Auditory Brainstem Responses (ABR)


This objective test assesses the central hearing pathways from the cochlea along the auditory nerve all the way to the auditory cortex (the part of the brain where sounds are perceived). It is helpful in assessing possible obstruction to sound transmission due to tumours, demyelination or other problems. The central hearing pathways pass close to the central vestibular system (brain balance computer) and may be affected in neurological central balance disorders.


After cleaning the skin thoroughly to remove surface oils, electrodes will be placed on your forehead and behind your ears and connected to a computer to measure your electrical brain activity (EEG). You will be required to sit in a dark room with your eyes closed and wearing headphones. You will hear some loud repetitive clicking noises but you are not required to respond to them as all measurements are taken automatically by the computer which records the electrical activity in the hearing pathways in the brain. This test may take up to 30 minutes depending on the results.