Background: Patients with single-suture craniosynostosis (SSC) are at an elevated risk for long-term learning disabilities. Such adverse outcomes indicate that the early development of neural processing in SSC may be abnormal. At present, however, the precise functional derangements of the developing brain remain largely unknown. Event-related potentials (ERPs) are a form of noninvasive neuroimaging that provide direct measurements of cortical activity and have shown value in predicting long-term cognitive functioning. The current study used ERPs to examine auditory processing in infants with SSC to help clarify the developmental onset of delays in this population. Methods: Fifteen infants with untreated SSC and 23 typically developing controls were evaluated. ERPs were recorded during the presentation of speech sounds. Analyses focused on the P150 and N450 components of auditory processing. Results: Infants with SSC demonstrated attenuated P150 amplitudes relative to typically developing controls. No differences in the N450 component were identified between untreated SSC and controls. Conclusions: Infants with untreated SSC demonstrate abnormal speech sound processing. Atypicalities are detectable as early as 6 months of age and may represent precursors to long-term language delay. Electrophysiological assessments provide a precise examination of neural processing in SSC and hold potential as a future modality to examine the effects of surgical treatment on brain development.
- Event-related potentials
ASJC Scopus subject areas