Résumé : The rarefaction-condensation differential potential (RCDP) obtained by subtracting brainstem auditory-evoked potentials (BAEPs) to C clicks from those to R clicks has been studied in 32 normal subjects and 31 cases of cochlear hearing loss. In normal subjects, no RCDP was recorded along the lower 30-55 dB of the JV latency-intensity function, thus defining the pre-RCDP range. The pre-RCDP range was always abolished in losses unmasking BAEPs from lower (<1kHz) tonotopic regions. When the BAEP originated from higher (>1kHz) tonotopic regions, the pre-RCDP range was either reduced or abolished. These results led to a working hypothesis based on single-unit data and stating a dual dependence of polarity effects on variables distributed along the tonotopic and intensity dimensions, with respective break-points at 1kHz, and at the junction of the tip and tail of unit frequency tuning curves. The 1kHz break-point could represent the upper frequency limit for phase locking in man.