Abstract

OBJECTIVE. We sought to determine whether children with sensory processing disorder (SPD) differ from typically developing children on a neurophysiological measure, the P300 component of event-related potentials produced in response to brief auditory stimulation.

METHOD. We used electroencephalographic measures (i.e., N200 and P300 components) to examine auditory processing in 20 children with SPD and 71 typically developing children, ages 5–10 yr.

RESULTS. Children with SPD demonstrated significantly smaller P300 amplitudes and shorter N200 latencies than typically developing children. Brain activity correctly distinguished children with SPD from typically developing children with 77% accuracy. We also found a significant relationship between the neurophysiological measures and functional performance on sensory and motor tasks.

CONCLUSION. This study presents empirical evidence that children with SPD display unique brain processing mechanisms compared with typical children and, therefore, provide further evidence for the neural deviations associated with SPD.

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