Noise Equally Degrades Central Auditory Processing in 2- and 4-Year-Old Children Purpose The aim of this study was to investigate developmental and noise-induced changes in central auditory processing indexed by event-related potentials in typically developing children. Method P1, N2, and N4 responses as well as mismatch negativities (MMNs) were recorded for standard syllables and consonants, frequency, intensity, vowel, and ... Research Article
Research Article  |   August 16, 2017
Noise Equally Degrades Central Auditory Processing in 2- and 4-Year-Old Children
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Elina Niemitalo-Haapola
    Child Language Research Center, Faculty of Humanities, University of Oulu, Finland
    Clinical Neurophysiology, Oulu University Hospital, Finland
  • Sini Haapala
    Clinical Neurophysiology, Oulu University Hospital, Finland
    Department of Psychology and Speech-Language Pathology, University of Turku, Finland
  • Teija Kujala
    Cognitive Brain Research Unit, Institute of Behavioural Sciences, University of Helsinki, Finland
  • Antti Raappana
    PEDEGO Research Unit, University of Oulu, Finland
    Department of Otorhinolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Institute of Clinical Medicine, Oulu University Hospital, Finland
  • Tiia Kujala
    PEDEGO Research Unit, University of Oulu, Finland
    Medical Research Center Oulu, Finland
  • Eira Jansson-Verkasalo
    Department of Psychology and Speech-Language Pathology, University of Turku, Finland
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Elina Niemitalo-Haapola: elina.niemitalo-haapola@oulu.fi
  • Editor: Frederick Gallun
    Editor: Frederick Gallun×
  • Associate Editor: Todd Ricketts
    Associate Editor: Todd Ricketts×
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 16, 2017
Noise Equally Degrades Central Auditory Processing in 2- and 4-Year-Old Children
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2017, Vol. 60, 2297-2309. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-H-16-0267
History: Received June 23, 2016 , Revised November 23, 2016 , Accepted February 4, 2017
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2017, Vol. 60, 2297-2309. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-H-16-0267
History: Received June 23, 2016; Revised November 23, 2016; Accepted February 4, 2017

Purpose The aim of this study was to investigate developmental and noise-induced changes in central auditory processing indexed by event-related potentials in typically developing children.

Method P1, N2, and N4 responses as well as mismatch negativities (MMNs) were recorded for standard syllables and consonants, frequency, intensity, vowel, and vowel duration changes in silent and noisy conditions in the same 14 children at the ages of 2 and 4 years.

Results The P1 and N2 latencies decreased and the N2, N4, and MMN amplitudes increased with development of the children. The amplitude changes were strongest at frontal electrodes. At both ages, background noise decreased the P1 amplitude, increased the N2 amplitude, and shortened the N4 latency. The noise-induced amplitude changes of P1, N2, and N4 were strongest frontally. Furthermore, background noise degraded the MMN. At both ages, MMN was significantly elicited only by the consonant change, and at the age of 4 years, also by the vowel duration change during noise.

Conclusions Developmental changes indexing maturation of central auditory processing were found from every response studied. Noise degraded sound encoding and echoic memory and impaired auditory discrimination at both ages. The older children were as vulnerable to the impact of noise as the younger children.

Supplemental materials https://doi.org/10.23641/asha.5233939

Acknowledgments
This study was supported by the Child Language Research Center, the Emil Aaltonen foundation, the Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation, and the Oulu University Fund (awarded to Elina Niemitalo-Haapola); The Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture, the Langnet Doctoral Programme (awarded to Sini Haapala); and the Academy of Finland Grant 276414 (awarded to Teija Kujala).
The authors wish to thank all of the children who participated in the study and their families for their invaluable help. For their help with data collection, we wish to thank EEG technicians Raija Remes and Sari Pehkonen and speech and language therapist Henna Häkli. We also wish to thank Semantix Finland Oy for language proofreading this research article. In addition, we wish to thank physicists Kalervo Suominen, Pasi Lepola, Tuomo Starck, and technician Hannu Wäänänen for their technical support during the different phases of the study.
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