Differences between human auditory event-related potentials (AERPs) measured at 2 and 4 months after birth

Marion I. van den Heuvel, Renee A. Otte, Marijke A. K. A. Braeken, Istvan Winkler, Elena Kushnerenko, Bea R. H. Van den Bergh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Infant auditory event-related potentials (AERPs) show a series of marked changes during the first year of life. These AERP changes indicate important advances in early development. The current study examined AERP differences between 2- and 4-month-old infants. An auditory oddball paradigm was delivered to infants with a frequent repetitive tone and three rare auditory events. The three rare events included a shorter than the regular inter-stimulus interval (ISI-deviant), white noise segments, and environmental sounds. The results suggest that the N250 infantile AERP component emerges during this period in response to white noise but not to environmental sounds, possibly indicating a developmental step towards separating acoustic deviance from contextual novelty. The scalp distribution of the AERP response to both the white noise and the environmental sounds shifted towards frontal areas and AERP peak latencies were overall lower in infants at 4 than at 2 months of age. These observations indicate improvements in the speed of sound processing and maturation of the frontal attentional network in infants during this period.
Keywords: Auditory event-related potential, Infancy, Auditory attention, Cognitive development, Oddball paradigm
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-83
JournalInternational Journal of Psychophysiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Auditory event-related potential
  • Infancy
  • Auditory attention
  • Cognitive development
  • Oddball paradigm


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