Event-related brain potentials reveal covert distractibility in closed head injuries

Marja Liisa Kaipio, Kimmo Alho, István Winkler, Carles Escera, Outi Surma-Aho, Risto Näätänen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2125-2129
Number of pages5
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Jul 13 1999



  • Attention
  • Audition
  • Closed head injury
  • Distractibility
  • Event-related brain potential (ERP)
  • Mismatch negativity
  • Novel sounds
  • P3a

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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