Publication Date

April 2010


Matthew Kurtz


Neuroscience and Behavior


English (United States)


This study aimed to identify neural correlates of procedural learning on a Serial Reaction Time (SRT) task using Event-Related Potentials (ERPs). This SRT paradigm was designed specifically for future use with children with low-functioning autism, as procedural learning impairments have been proposed as an etiology of autism. ERPs were recorded as typically-developing children and adults watched pattern and random SRT stimuli. Results showed that, for adults, P1 amplitudes trended toward being enhanced for random stimuli, while the opposite trend was observed in children. In adults, there was also a significant effect of stimulus condition on P3 amplitude. There was a significant interaction between group and stimulus condition for the P1 and N1 peaks. These findings could indicate that children and adults processed the patterned stimuli in contrasting manners. The success of this paradigm with young children suggests the study can be effectively extended to children with autism.



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