The multiple auditory steady-state evoked response (MASTER) technique provides a rapid and objective assessment of hearing. The technique is based on the statistical evaluation of the electrophysiological responses evoked by multiple auditory tones presented simultaneously. These auditory steady-state responses can be recorded from the human scalp intermixed with the other activity in the electroencephalogram (EEG). A combination of averaging and frequency-analysis can distinguish the responses from the background EEG. MASTER typically presents 8 continuous tones (4 to each ear) and each tone is sinusoidally modulated at unique frequency. The detection of the interwoven responses becomes possible after the electrophysiological data are transformed into the frequency domain.

MASTER evaluates the responsiveness of the auditory system to several tonal frequencies in the same time it would take to record one response if each stimulus was presented separately.

Since MASTER measures electrophysiological responses to sounds, it allows us to objectively asses how well a participant hears. This is especially useful in patients who are unable or unwilling to give reliable behavioral responses.

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