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Evoked Potential Correlates of Temporal Auditory Processing Disorders and Developmental Language Delay in School-aged Children


Project Leader
Eggermont, Jos   

Central auditory processing problems in children are linked to developmental language delay. Our project aims to provide an electrophysiological investigation into children with these disorders in a way that informs us about cortical maturation. Multi-channel electrode recordings will be completed to determine peak P1 and N1 auditory evoked potential latency and amplitude. We have previously compiled a large normative data set of the P1 and N1 components for ages 5 years to young adult, and have shown its relation to anatomical cortical maturation described by others. In the proposed study, we will compare the new data against the existing electrophysiological data set. Delays in evoked potential maturation may underlie auditory processing disorders and any attendant developmental language delays. In particular, we will examine temporal processing disturbances of children with these two disorders using a set of stimulus paradigms that specifically target the integrity of auditory stimulus processing in time. Thus, what makes this project special is that it offers not simply another electrophysiological correlate of impaired speech (language) processing, but the opportunity of revealing a temporal processing defect with nonverbal stimuli, and in a fashion that enables inferences to be drawn about the state of cortical maturation in the participants. This project is also the natural extension of our behavioral investigation into children with language learning delay and auditory temporal processing disorders currently underway (study conducted by Brown, Phillips, Watson, Eggermont & Tobolski, and funded externally by the Hearing Foundation of Canada, 2003). This study is therefore a multi-disciplinary one that will build on the most recently developed knowledge in the fields of language and auditory processing. The partnership we have developed with a school for children with learning disorders allows us to investigate children with disorders of interest, including developmental language delay and auditory processing disorders, and also provides for the opportunity to share research-based expertise with clinicians and educators who work first-hand with children with language and literacy issues. The knowledge gained from this study will be used ultimately to improve both identification and rehabilitation techniques for the language and literacy skills of Canadian children.

LAST MODIFIED: February 06 2004 13:25:35

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