Skip to main content

Auditory brainstem response and speech mismatch negativity in children with phonological disorders



This study was designed to explore the processing of auditory information through auditory brainstem and higher cortical regions in a sample of children with phonological errors compared to age-matched normal controls using AEPs.

Subjects and Methods

We recorded click and speech auditory brain-stem response and mismatch negativity in 30 children (15 children who were diagnosed clinically with phonological disorder, their ages ranged between 3.5–5.5 years, 15 children age-matched, sex matched and education matched with the study group, normal fluent speaker with no history of speech or language impairment).


Absolute and inter-peak latency values of cABR demonstrated no statistically significant difference between the control and study groups. Moreover, All children had well identifiable and repeatable sABR and MMN but with delayed latencies in transient, transitional and sustained portions of speech-evoked ABR and MMN in study group when compared to control group. On the other hand, there were non significant difference as regard amplitude in the two groups as regard sABR and MMN.


Phonological disorder may affect the communication and language processes causing degradation of linguistic and para-linguistic information, also it can affect the quality of life and social interaction.


  1. 1

    American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th ed. text revised. Washington DC: American Psychiatric Publishing; 2000.

    Google Scholar 

  2. 2

    Sadock-Benjamin J, Sadock VA. Comprehensive textbook of psychiatry. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins 2000.

    Google Scholar 

  3. 3

    Ellis Weismer S, Ellis S. Non-word repetition performance in school-age children with and without language impairment. J Speech Lang Hear Res 2000; 43:865–878.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4

    Naatanen R. The mismatch negativity as an index of the perception of speech sounds by the human brain. Ross Fiziol Zh Im I M Sechenova 2000; 86:1481–1501.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  5. 5

    Moller A. Neural generators of auditor evoked potentials. In: Jacobson J editor. Principles and applications in auditory evoked potentials. Boston: Allyn and Bacon 1994. pp. 23–46.

    Google Scholar 

  6. 6

    Prévost F, Laroche M, Marcoux A, Dajani HR. Objective measurement of physiological signal-to-noise gain in the brainstem response to a synthetic vowel. Clin Neurophysiol 2013; 124:52–60.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7

    Anderson S, Kraus N. The potential role of the cABR in assessment and management of hearing impairment. Int J Otolaryngol 2013; 2013:1–10.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8

    Watkins S, Dalton P, Lavie N, Rees G. Brain mechanisms mediating auditory attentional capture in humans. Cereb Cortex 2007; 17:1694–1700.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9

    Naatanen R, Jacobsen T, Winkler I. Memory-based or afferent processes in mismatch negativity (MMN): a review of the evidence. Psychophysiology 2005; 42:25–32.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10

    Kotby M, Bassiouny S, El-Zomor M, Mohsen E. Pilot study for standardization of an articulation test. Proceeding of 10th Annual in Ain-Shams Medical Congress, Cairo, Egypt; 1985.

  11. 11

    Skoe E, Kraus N. Auditory brain stem response to complex sounds: a tutorial. Ear Hear 2010; 31:302–324.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. 12

    King C, Warrier CM, Hayes E, Kraus N. Deficits in auditory brainstem encoding of speech sounds in children with learning problems. Neurosci Lett 2002; 319:111–115.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. 13

    Hayes EA, Warrier CM, Nicol TG, Zecker SG, Kraus N. Neural plasticity following auditory training in children with learning problems. Clin Neurophysiol 2003; 114:673–684.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. 14

    Ibraheem OA, Quriba AS. Auditory neural encoding of speech in adults with persistent developmental stuttering. Egypt J Otolaryngol [serial online] 2014; 30:157–165.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. 15

    Sanfins MD, Borges LR, Ubiali T, Colella-Santos MF. Speech-evoked auditory brainstem response in the differential diagnosis of scholastic difficulties. Braz J Otorhinolaryngol 2017; 83:112–116.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. 16

    Ghannoum MT, Shalaby AA, Dabbous AO, Abd-El-Raouf ER, Abd-El-Hady HS. Speech evoked auditory brainstem response in learning disabled children. Hear Balance Commun 2014; 12:126–142.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. 17

    Song JH, Banai K, Kraus N. Brainstem timing deficits in children with learning impairment may result from corticofugal origins. Audiol Neurotol 2008; 13:335–344.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. 18

    Akhoun I, Gallégo S, Moulin A, Ménard M, Veuillet E, Berger-Vachon C. The temporal relationship between speech auditory brainstem responses and the acoustic pattern of the phoneme /ba/ in normal-hearing adults. Clin Neurophysiol 2008; 119:922–933.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  19. 19

    Banai K, Abrams D, Kraus N. Sensory-based learning disability: insights from brainstem processing of speech sounds. Int J Audiol 2007; 46:524–532.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. 20

    Galbraith GC, Olfman DM, Huffman TM. Selective attention deficits affect human brainstem frequency following response. Neuroreport 2003; 14:735–738.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. 21

    Russo NM, Skoe E, Trommer B, Nicol T, Zecker S, Bradlow A, et al. Deficient brainstem encoding of pitch in children with autism spectrum disorders. Clin Neurophysiol 2008; 119:172031.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. 22

    Wible B, Nicol T, Kraus N. Correlation between brainstem and cortical auditory processes in normal and language-impaired children. Brain 2005; 128:417–423.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Reem El-Beltagy MD.

Additional information

This is an open access journal, and articles are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 License, which allows others to remix, tweak, and build upon the work non-commercially, as long as appropriate credit is given and the new creations are licensed under the identical terms.

Rights and permissions

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

El-Beltagy, R., Galhom, D. & Hassan, EH.M. Auditory brainstem response and speech mismatch negativity in children with phonological disorders. Egypt J Otolaryngol 35, 79–85 (2019).

Download citation


  • click ABR
  • mismatch negativity
  • phonological disorder
  • speech ABR