A developmental investigation of ERP auditory rhyming effects



In a simple auditory rhyming paradigm requiring a button–press response (rhyme/nonrhyme) to the second word (target) of each spoken stimulus pair, both the early (P50, N120, P200, N240) and late (CNV, N400, P300) components of the ERP waveform evidenced considerable change from middle childhood to adulthood. In addition, behavioral accuracy and reaction time improved with increasing age. In contrast, the size, distribution and latency of each of several rhyming effects (including the posterior N400 rhyming effect, a left hemisphere anterior rhyming effect, and early rhyming effects on P50 latency, N120 latency and P200 amplitude) remained constant from age 7 to adulthood. These results indicate that the neurocognitive networks involved in processing auditory rhyme information, as indexed by the present task, are well established and have an adult–like organization at least by the age of 7.