The examination of Event Related Potentials during language processing tasks provides valuable information of how the brain processes language over time. In the current study, the development of the early left anterior negativity (ELAN) was analyzed in young children. Previous research has described the ELAN as a negative waveform elicited during syntactic processing between 200 and 500 ms post linguistic stimuli. Thirty children from 5 to 12 years of age listened to sentences that were linguistically correct, syntactically incorrect, or semantically incorrect. Sentences were presented for right monaural, left monaural, and binaural ear conditions to determine possible differences related to right ear advantage (REA). An ELAN-like component in regards to latency and amplitude was observed in children 8 years of age and older; however, comparison between linguistic conditions suggest that the ability to differentiate between linguistically correct, syntactically incorrect, and semantically incorrect stimuli is not established until 12 years of age. Results suggest that adult-like syntactic processing of morphosyntactic errors is not established until after 12 years of age. Comparison between ear conditions suggests that the REA effect may exist in older children, a finding that has not been reflected in previous behavioral research.
College and Department
David O. McKay School of Education; Communication Disorders
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Crandall, Melissa, "The ELAN Event-Related Potential in Children 5 to 12 Years of Age" (2010). All Theses and Dissertations. 2151.
ELAN, event-related potentials, right ear advantage, language development, syntax