Poster A113, Saturday, March 24, 1:30–3:30 pm, Exhibit Hall C
Auditory scene analysis in adolescents with and without language disorders: Neural indicators of maturation and auditory memory
Elyse Sussman1; 1Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Developmental language disorders, defined by an inability to use language with the same facility as age-matched peers in the absence of a clearly defined pathology, affect at least 7% of school-aged children in the United States. While intensive research has failed to identify specific etiologies of language disorders, it has spawned diverse hypotheses regarding the underlying causal factors. Impairments have been attributed to low-level deficits of auditory processing mechanisms, to linguistic-specific processes, and to attention deficits. We tested effects of bottom-up processing in adolescent children with language processing deficits compared to age-matched children with typical language. The goal was to evaluate neural indices of sound discrimination and memory in complex listening environments. We assessed auditory discrimination using simple tones presented in an auditory oddball paradigm and presented within a background of competing sounds. Event-related brain potentials (ERPs) elicited by the oddball sounds were measured and compared across groups. We found distinct differences in maturational features of the auditory evoked potentials in the language impaired group along with poorer memory for sound discrimination. These results indicate some processing deficits in children with language impairments, not explained by attentional factors.
Topic Area: ATTENTION: Auditory