Developmental changes in refractoriness of the cortical auditory evoked potential

Phillip M. Gilley, Anu Sharma, Michael Dorman, Kathryn Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

143 Scopus citations


Objective: This study examined morphological changes in the cortical auditory evoked potential (CAEP) waveform as a function of varying stimulation rate. Stimuli were presented in a paradigm which indirectly assesses the refractory properties of the underlying neuronal generators. Methods: CAEPs were recorded in 50 normal-hearing children (3-12 years) and 10 young adults (24-26 years). A speech sound was presented in a stimulus train with sequentially decreasing inter-stimulus intervals (ISIs) of 2000, 1000, 560, and 360 ms. Latencies and amplitudes of the P1, N1, and P2 components at the Cz electrode were examined as a function of stimulus rate and age. Results: Results revealed significant changes in the CAEP as a function of age and stimulation rate. At younger ages the N1-P2 component was elicited only at the slowest stimulation rates, and was more clearly apparent at successively faster stimulation rates as age increased. Conclusions: We have described a stimulus paradigm that allows examination of the development of refractoriness by highlighting the interaction between age and rate on CAEP morphology. Significance: Complex maturational patterns of CAEP components are best understood when the effects of both age and stimulus rate on the CAEP waveform are considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)648-657
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Neurophysiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2005


  • Auditory evoked potentials
  • Central auditory system
  • Development
  • Refractoriness
  • Stimulation rate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sensory Systems
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


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