Abstract

Wetzel, N., & Schröger, E. (2007). Modulation of involuntary attention by the duration of novel and pitch deviant sounds in children and adolescents. Biological Psychology, 75(1), 24-31.

Modulation of involuntary attention by the duration of novel and pitch deviant sounds in children and adolescents

In a passive auditory oddball event-related potential study, the processing of short (100 ms) and long (500 ms) novels and pitch deviant tones was investigated in three age groups (6-8, 10-12, and 17-18 years). Age specific distributions of P3a demonstrate developmental differences in the processing of unexpected sounds. Moreover, long compared with short novel sounds (but not long compared with short pitch deviant tones) elicited enhanced positive brain waves in early (200-300 ms) and late (300-400 ms) P3a as well as in post-P3a (400-600 ms) windows. This finding suggests stronger attentional capture for unexpected sounds with higher information content. The fact that in the post-P3a window this duration effect was largest for the 6-8 years old indicates that young children are especially prone for distraction.



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