Auditory ERP Differences in the Perception of Anticipated Speech Sequences in 5 - 6 Years Old Children and Adults
The perception of complex auditory information such as complete speech sequences develops during human ontogeny. In order to explore age differences in the auditory perception of predictable speech sequences we compared event-related potentials (ERPs) recorded in 5- to 6-yearold children (N = 15) and adults (N = 15) in response to anticipated speech sequences as successive and reverse digital series with randomly omitted digits. The ERPs obtained from the omitted digits significantly differed in the amplitude and latency of the N200 and P300 components between adults and children, the N400 and LPC components were more pronounced in children in the right frontal area for the digits presentation. These findings indicate that the perception of a successive speech structure is less automated in children and requires a detailed analysis of the successive structure and error detection. These differences in auditory ERPs reflect developmental changes in the auditory perception of speech sequences and can serve as indicators of the maturity of cognitive functions in children.