Aging decreases auditory event-related potentials to unexpected stimuli in humans


A P300 event-related potential (P3a) was recorded to unexpected, deviant auditory stimuli requiring no behavioral response. This brain potential underwent systematic latency prolongation and amplitude decrease with advancing age. The age-related changes paralleled those of the P300 (P3b) recorded in target detection tasks. These results provide physiological evidence of a decremented CNS response to unexpected stimuli with aging.