BehaviourDistractible children show abnormal orienting to non-attended auditory stimuliKilpeläinen, Riitta1,3; Luoma, Laila2; Herrgård, Eila2; Sipilä, Perttu1; Yppärilä, Heidi1; Partanen, Juhani1; Karhu, Jari1Author Information 1Department of Clinical Neurophysiology, Kuopio University Hospital, P.O. Box 1777, 70211 Kuopio, Finland 2Department of Paediatrics, Unit of Child Neurology, Kuopio University Hospital, P.O.Box 1777, 70211 Kuopio, Finland. 3Corresponding Author: Riitta Kilpeläinen ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: This study was financially supported by Emil Aaltonen Foundation. Received 30 March 1999; accepted 21 April 1999 NeuroReport: June 23rd, 1999 - Volume 10 - Issue 9 - p 1869-1874 Buy SDC Abstract EVENT-RELATED potentials were recorded in response to intermittently presented, non-attended trains of identical auditory stimuli in healthy 9-year-old children. In abnormally distractible children (n = 24), the first tone in each train elicited a significantly larger N1 vertex response than in the non-distractible children (n = 24), suggesting that increased distractibility may be associated with an abnormally strong cerebral orienting towards non-attended stimuli. A later negativity at around 300 ms, which increases in amplitude with stimulus repetition and may thus reflect the building up of a functional neuronal representation of the stimulus properties, was significantly smaller in the distractible than in the non-distractible children. These findings demonstrate that event-related potential measures may be useful in helping to understand the information processing found in distractible children. © 1999 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.