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Semin Fetal Neonatal Med. 2006 Dec;11(6):452-8. Epub 2006 Sep 8.

Cortical auditory event-related potentials in newborn infants.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Clinical Sciences, Lund University, SE-221 85 Lund, Sweden.


The possibility of recording changes in electroencephalography potentials following perception of sound was reported several decades ago. The recent expanding research on auditory cortical event-related potentials (AERPs) for assessing sound discrimination abilities in children and infants has indicated that several methodological issues need to be addressed before it can be implemented in clinical practice. Latencies, polarities, and amplitudes of the responses change with gestational age and during infancy. Thus, the maturation of the infant must be considered when designing stimulus paradigms and interpreting the responses. Of healthy newborn infants, only about 80% will show mismatch negativity, the automatic change detection of the auditory stimuli. Currently, the AERP method cannot be applied in clinical practice in the neonatal period, although the findings in healthy newborns at risk for dyslexia are promising. Further research will elucidate the possibility of developing AERPs as a possible early screening method during infancy for later dyslexia or cognitive dysfunction.

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