Separating acoustic deviance from novelty during the first year of life: a review of event-related potential evidence

Article


Kushnerenko, E., Van den Bergh, Bea R. H. and Winkler, István 2013. Separating acoustic deviance from novelty during the first year of life: a review of event-related potential evidence. Frontiers in Psychology. 4 (595).
AuthorsKushnerenko, E., Van den Bergh, Bea R. H. and Winkler, István
Abstract

Orienting to salient events in the environment is a first step in the development of attention in young infants. Electrophysiological studies have indicated that in newborns and young infants, sounds with widely distributed spectral energy, such as noise and various environmental sounds, as well as sounds widely deviating from their context elicit an event-related potential (ERP) similar to the adult P3a response. We discuss how the maturation of event-related potentials parallels the process of the development of passive auditory attention during the first year of life. Behavioral studies have indicated that the neonatal orientation to high-energy stimuli gradually changes to attending to genuine novelty and other significant events by approximately 9 months of age. In accordance with these changes, in newborns, the ERP response to large acoustic deviance is dramatically larger than that to small and moderate deviations. This ERP difference, however, rapidly decreases within first months of life and the differentiation of the ERP response to genuine novelty from that to spectrally rich but repeatedly presented sounds commences during the same period. The relative decrease of the response amplitudes elicited by high-energy stimuli may reflect development of an inhibitory brain network suppressing the processing of uninformative stimuli. Based on data obtained from healthy full-term and pre-term infants as well as from infants at risk for various developmental problems, we suggest that the electrophysiological indices of the processing of acoustic and contextual deviance may be indicative of the functioning of auditory attention, a crucial prerequisite of learning and language development.

JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Journal citation4 (595)
ISSN1664-1078
Year2013
PublisherFrontiers Media SA
Publisher's version
License
CC BY
Web address (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00595
Publication dates
Print05 Sep 2013
Publication process dates
Deposited13 Mar 2015
Accepted16 Aug 2013
FunderNational Research Fund of Hungary (OTKA)
European Commission Seventh Framework Programme
Országos Tudományos Kutatási Alapprogramok
Seventh Framework Programme
Copyright information© 2013 Kushnerenko, Van den Bergh and Winkler. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
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