School of Biomedical Engineering, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510515, China
Copyright © 2013 Tao Wang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
To obtain reliable transient auditory evoked potentials (AEPs) from EEGs recorded using high stimulus rate (HSR) paradigm, it is critical to design the stimulus sequences of appropriate frequency properties. Traditionally, the individual stimulus events in a stimulus sequence occur only at discrete time points dependent on the sampling frequency of the recording system and the duration of stimulus sequence. This dependency likely causes the implementation of suboptimal stimulus sequences, sacrificing the reliability of resulting AEPs. In this paper, we explicate the use of continuous-time stimulus sequence for HSR paradigm, which is independent of the discrete electroencephalogram (EEG) recording system. We employ simulation studies to examine the applicability of the continuous-time stimulus sequences and the impacts of sampling frequency on AEPs in traditional studies using discrete-time design. Results from these studies show that the continuous-time sequences can offer better frequency properties and improve the reliability of recovered AEPs. Furthermore, we find that the errors in the recovered AEPs depend critically on the sampling frequencies of experimental systems, and their relationship can be fitted using a reciprocal function. As such, our study contributes to the literature by demonstrating the applicability and advantages of continuous-time stimulus sequences for HSR paradigm and by revealing the relationship between the reliability of AEPs and sampling frequencies of the experimental systems when discrete-time stimulus sequences are used in traditional manner for the HSR paradigm.