Journal Article

Correlation between brainstem and cortical auditory processes in normal and language-impaired children

Brad Wible, Trent Nicol and Nina Kraus

in Brain

Published on behalf of The Guarantors of Brain

Volume 128, issue 2, pages 417-423
Published in print February 2005 | ISSN: 0006-8950
Published online January 2005 | e-ISSN: 1460-2156 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/awh367
Correlation between brainstem and cortical auditory processes in normal and language-impaired children

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A functional relationship between brainstem and cortical auditory processing was shown to be abnormal in children with language-based learning problems (LP). Auditory evoked potentials were used to investigate brainstem and cortical responses to the speech sound /da/. The duration of the wave V–Vn complex of the auditory brainstem response was studied, as was the effect of noise on correlations between cortical responses to repeated stimuli. The group of LP children (n = 11) demonstrated abnormal encoding of speech sounds on both individual measures of brainstem and cortical processing; prolonged wave V–Vn duration and pronounced susceptibility of cortical correlations to degradation by noise were both interpreted as reflecting diminished synchrony of response generator mechanisms. Furthermore, the LP group as a whole failed to demonstrate a relationship between brainstem and cortical measures that was demonstrated to be quite strong across all normal children (NL, n = 9). However, a subset of roughly three-quarters of the LP children appeared to demonstrate the normal relationship between brainstem and cortical processing, suggesting that they share a common functional connection with NL children. This relatively normal relationship between brainstem and cortical auditory processing in most LP children, as well as the exceptions to this relationship reflected by a smaller portion of LP children, may delineate different subclasses of auditory-language-based learning problems. This suggests the potential for use of these measures as diagnostic tools.

Keywords: auditory brainstem response; cortical auditory evoked potentials; language impairment; ABR = auditory brainstem response; IQ = intelligence quotient; ISI = inter-stimulus interval; ITI = inter-train interval; LP = children with language-based learning problems; NL = normal children

Journal Article.  4888 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neurology ; Neuroscience

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