Event-related brain potentials (ERPs) to auditory stimuli were recorded from 11 closed head injured (CHI) and 10 age-matched healthy adults. Auditory stimuli consisted of sequences of repetitive standard tones (600 Hz), occasionally replaced by deviant tones (660 Hz) or by natural novel sounds. Subjects were instructed to ignore auditory stimuli while concentrating on a demanding visuo-motor tracking task. CHI patients showed, in comparison to control subjects, significantly enhanced late P3a component in the ERPs to novel sounds. This suggests that novel stimuli cause greater distraction in CHI patients than in controls, demonstrating that ERPs provide a powerful tool to determine the physiological basis of attentional deficits in CHI patients.
- Closed head injury
- Event-related brain potential (ERP)
- Mismatch negativity
- Novel sounds
ASJC Scopus subject areas