Age-related processing delay reveals cause of apparent sensory excitability following auditory stimulation

Márta Volosin, Zsófia Anna Gaál, J. Horváth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

When background auditory events lead to enhanced auditory event-related potentials (ERPs) for closely following sounds, this is generally interpreted as a transient increase in the responsiveness of the auditory system. We measured ERPs elicited by irrelevant probes (gaps in a continuous tone) at several time-points following rare auditory events (pitch glides) in younger and older adults, who watched movies during stimulation. Fitting previous results, in younger adults, gaps elicited increasing N1 auditory ERPs with decreasing glide-gap separation. N1 increase was paralleled by an ERP decrease in the P2 interval. In older adults, only a glide-gap separation dependent P2 decrease, but no N1-effect was observable. This ERP pattern was likely caused by a fronto-central negative waveform, which was delayed in the older adult group, thus overlapping N1 and P2 in the younger, but overlapping only P2 in the older adult group. Because the waveform exhibited a polarity reversal at the mastoids, it was identified as a mismatch negativity (MMN). This interpretation also fits previous studies showing that gap-related MMN is delayed in older adults, reflecting an age-related deterioration of fine temporal auditory resolution. These results provide a plausible alternative explanation for the ERP enhancement for sounds following background auditory events.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10143
JournalScientific Reports
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2017

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Acoustic Stimulation
Evoked Potentials
Young Adult
Mastoid
Motion Pictures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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Age-related processing delay reveals cause of apparent sensory excitability following auditory stimulation. / Volosin, Márta; Gaál, Zsófia Anna; Horváth, J.

In: Scientific Reports, Vol. 7, No. 1, 10143, 01.12.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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