School of Speech Pathol. & Audiol., Kent State Univ., Kent, OH 44242
P300 auditory event related potentials (P3AERP's), discovered by Hallowell Davis in 1964, are endogenous potentials influenced by stimulus context (rather than stimulus features) and subjects' attentional characteristics (rather than subject characteristics). The effects of competing noise no latency of P3AERP's were investigated in the current study in adults with and without auditory processing disorders. P3AERP's were recorded using an oddball paradigm in binaural and competing conditions. The binaural condition involved presentation of 3000- and 4000-Hz tone bursts to both ears while in the competing condition, 3000- and 4000-Hz tone bursts were presented to one ear and competing white noise to the contralateral ear. On average, both groups showed longer latencies for the competing condition, which supports the notion of the influence of stimulus context. Individuals in the auditory processing disorders group showed prolonged latencies in both conditions relative to those in the control group, reflecting the problems in speed of information processing on attentional tasks observed with this population.