Auditory event-related potentials and cognitive function of preterm children at five years of age

Clin Neurophysiol. 2007 Jul;118(7):1494-502. doi: 10.1016/j.clinph.2007.04.012. Epub 2007 May 25.


Objective: In our previous study, auditory event-related potentials (AERPs) in preterm 1-year-old children had a positive deflection at 150-350 ms that correlated positively with their 2-year neurodevelopmental outcome. In a study of the same subjects at age 5, our aim was to assess AERPs and their relationship to neuropsychological test results.

Methods: Preterm small (SGA, n=13), appropriate for gestational age (AGA, n=15), and control (n=13) children were assessed with an Easy paradigm presenting a large frequency change accompanied with occasional novel sounds, and a Challenging paradigm presenting small frequency and duration changes with a rapid rate. The preterm children underwent neurocognitive tests.

Results: Easy paradigm. The P1 response to frequency deviant was smaller and MMN larger in the preterm than in the control children. Challenging paradigm. The P1 response to standard, frequency, and duration deviants was smaller in the preterm than in the control children. The N2 response to frequency deviant was larger in the preterm than in the control children. AGA and SGA children had similar AERPs. The P1, N2, and MMN amplitudes correlated with verbal IQ and NEPSY language subtests.

Conclusions: Small P1 response(s) appears to be typical for preterm children.

Significance: Small P1 response in preterm children may suggest altered primary auditory processing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Birth Weight
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Electroencephalography
  • Evoked Potentials, Auditory / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature / physiology*
  • Infant, Small for Gestational Age / physiology
  • Intelligence Tests
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests