Enhancement of the auditory late response (N1-P2) by presentation of stimuli from an unexpected location

Raquel M. Heacock, Amanda Pigeon, Gail Chermak, Frank Musiek, Jeffrey Weihing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Passive electrophysiological protocols, such as the middle latency response and speech auditory brainstem response, are often advocated in the objective assessment of central auditory processing disorder (CAPD). However, few established electrophysiological protocols exist for CAPD assessment that have patients participate in active tasks which more closely approximate real-world listening. To this end, the present study used a discrimination task (i.e., oddball paradigm) to measure an enhancement of the auditory late response (N1-P2) that occurs when participants direct their auditory attention toward speech arising from an unexpected spatial location. Purpose: To establish whether N1-P2 is enhanced when auditory attention is directed toward an unexpected location during a two-word discrimination task. In addition, it was also investigated whether any enhancements in this response were contingent on the stimulus being counted as part of the oddball paradigm. Research Design: Prospective study with a repeated measures design. Study Sample: Ten normal hearing adults, with an age range of 18–24 years. Data Collection and Analysis: The N1 and P2 latencies and peak-to-peak amplitudes were recorded during a P300 paradigm. A series of repeated measures of analysis of variance and a correlation analysis was performed. Results: There was a significant effect of stimulus location, in which words arising from the unexpected location showed a larger N1-P2 peak-to-peak amplitude and an earlier N1 latency. This effect was seen regardless of whether or not participants had to count the word total in memory. Conclusions: These findings suggest that spatial enhancement of the N1-P2 is a fairly robust phenomenon in normal hearing adult listeners. Additional studies are needed to determine whether this enhancement is absent or reduced in patients with CAPD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)451-458
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Audiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2019


  • Attention
  • Auditory processing disorders
  • Dichotic listening
  • Electrophysiology
  • N1-P2
  • Spatial processing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Speech and Hearing


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