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Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol. 1993 Jul-Aug;88(4):302-8.

P300 in young and elderly subjects: auditory frequency and intensity effects.

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Department of Psychology, University of California San Diego 92093.


Auditory event-related potentials (ERPs) were assessed in young and elderly subjects when stimulus intensity (40 vs. 60 dB SL) and standard/target tone frequency (250/500 Hz and 1000/2000 Hz) were manipulated to study the effects of these variables on the P3(00) and N1, P2 and N2 components. Auditory thresholds for each stimulus type were obtained, and the stimulus intensity was adjusted to effect perceptually equal intensities across conditions for each subject. Younger subjects demonstrated larger P3 amplitudes and shorter latencies than elderly subjects. The low frequency stimuli produced larger P3 amplitude and shorter latencies than the high frequency stimuli. Low intensity stimuli yielded somewhat smaller P3 amplitudes and longer peak latencies than high intensity stimulus tones. Although additional stimulus intensity and frequency effects were obtained for the N1, P2 and N2 components, these generally differed relatively little with subject age. The findings suggest that auditory stimulus parameters contribute to P3 measures, which are different for young compared to elderly subjects.

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