The ototoxic effects of kanamycin were studied in rats during the early postnatal period and at an adult age. Brain stem potentials as well as auditory cortical potentials were used for the estimating of ototoxic damage. The auditory potentials decreased promptly and markedly in the animals which were treated daily with 400 mg/kg body weight of kanamycin starting from the 11th day after birth. In these animals, the auditory potentials were almost completely abolished within 10 days after the beginning of the kanamycin treatment. However, when the same amount of kanamycin was applied earlier or later than that, i.e., avoiding the period of the initial appearance and the greatest development of auditory functions (from the 11th to the 15th day after birth in the rat), the auditory potentials were not apparently damaged. In light and scanning electronmicroscopy, marked ototoxic changes were observed which underlay the functional damage. The meaning of these findings is discussed.