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Jane Hornickel, Deborah Lin and Nina Kraus Speech-evoked auditory brainstem responses reflect familial and cognitive influences Developmental Science 16

Version of Record online: 21 DEC 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12009

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The auditory brainstem response (ABR) to speech is linked to language skill; however, the impact of familiality had not been assessed. We collected ABRs to speech from children who were siblings, matched on reading ability, or matched only on age and sex. Response similarity (intersubject response-to-response correlations) was strongest for siblings, slightly weaker for children matched on reading ability, and weakest for children matched on age and sex only. These results suggest that auditory brainstem function can be influenced by siblingship and language skills, motivating the use of speech-evoked ABRs for assessing risk of communication impairments in families.

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