Oscillatory decoupling differentiates auditory encoding deficits in children with listening problems

Phillip M. Gilley, Mridula Sharma, Suzanne C. Purdy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: We sought to examine whether oscillatory EEG responses to a speech stimulus in both quiet and noise were different in children with listening problems than in children with normal hearing. Methods: We employed a high-resolution spectral-temporal analysis of the cortical auditory evoked potential in response to a 150 ms speech sound /da/ in quiet and 3 dB SNR in 21 typically developing children (mean age = 10.7 years, standard deviation = 1.7) and 44 children with reported listening problems (LP) with absence of hearing loss (mean age = 10.3 years, standard deviation = 1.6). Children with LP were assessed for auditory processing disorder (APD) by which 24 children had APD, and 20 children did not. Peak latencies, magnitudes, and frequencies were compared between these groups. Results: Children with LP had frequency shifts in the theta, and alpha bands (< 0.05), and children with LP + APD had additional frequency (< 0.01) and latency shifts (< 0.05) in the upper beta and in the lower gamma bands. Conclusions: These results provide evidence for differences in higher level modulatory processing in children with LP, and that APD is driven by differences in early auditory encoding. Significance: These findings may better guide future research toward improving the differential diagnosis and treatment of listening problems in this population of children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1618-1628
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Neurophysiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015.


  • Auditory evoked potential
  • Auditory processing
  • Auditory processing disorder
  • Child development
  • Neural oscillations
  • Oscillatory coupling


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