Temporal prominence of auditory evoked potentials (N1 wave) in 4-8-year-old children


  • This research was supported by INSERM U316, INSERM network no. 489001, CRAMTS no. 998313, Langlois Foundation, and France Telecom Foundation.

Address reprint requests to: Nicole Bruneau, INSERM Unité 316, Department of Developmental Neurophysiology and Psychopathology, CHU Bretonneau 2, Bd Tonnellé, F-37044 Tours Cédex, France, E-mail: bruneau@univ-tours.fr.


Cortical auditory evoked potentials (N1 wave) were studied in 24 adults (12 men, 12 women) and 20 children (12 boys, 8 girls; age: 4-8 years). In adults, this wave was recorded with maximal amplitude at frontocentral sites, peaking at about 100 ms poststimulation, whereas in children the auditory response displayed maximal amplitude at the midtemporal sites, with a positive wave at about 100 ms and a large negative wave at approximately 170 ms. Moreover, the modulatory effects of intensity on N1 amplitude were prominent at frontocentral sites in adults and at temporal sites in children. Frontocentral negative response was also recorded in children but was smaller in amplitude and longer in peak latency (around 140 ms) than in adults; responses were of greater amplitude at the frontal site than at the vertex before 6 years of age, whereas the reverse was more often found after this age. These data suggest great differences with age in the neural generators contributing to auditory evoked potentials recorded in the N1 latency range.