Research Article| Volume 25, ISSUE 5, P598-609, March 01, 1989

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Auditory event-related potentials in adolescents at risk for drug abuse

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      We evaluated sensory and cognitive information processing in noninstitutionalized delinquent male adolescents and in age-matched low delinquency controls. Detailed psychometric testing documented the nature of the aggressive behavior of these young men. Deficits in information processing, as assessed by event-related potential (ERP) techniques, were observed at several levels of the auditory system in the delinquent group. The delinquent group showed delays in wave V of the brainstem auditory evoked potential, shorter N100 latency, and decreased slow wave amplitude of cognitive event-related potentials when subjects were asked to perform a mental task in a noisy environment. It remains to be determined whether or not such information-processing deficiencies are common among delinquent populations and how they might influence the development of delinquent behavior and drug abuse.
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