Abstract

Auditory processing abnormalities in fragile X syndrome (FXS) may contribute to difficulties with language development, pattern identification, and contextual updating. Participants with FXS (N = 41) and controls (N = 27) underwent auditory event-related potentials during presentation of an oddball paradigm. Data was adequate for analysis for 33 participants with FXS and 27 controls (age 4–51 y, 13 females [FXS]; 4–54 y, 11 females [control]). Participants with FXS showed larger N1 and P2 amplitudes, abnormal lack of modulation of P1 and P2 amplitudes and P2 latency in response to oddball stimuli ) relative to controls: Females with FXS were more similar to controls. Participants with FXS showed a marginal speeding of the P2 latency, suggesting potentiation to oddball stimuli rather than habituation. Participants with FXS showed a heightened N1 habituation effect compared to controls. Gamma power was significantly higher for participants with FXS. Groups did not differ on mismatch negativity. Both controls and participants with FXS showed similar developmental trajectories in P1 and N1 amplitude, P2 latency, and gamma power, but not for P2 amplitude. One month retest analyses performed in 14 participants suggest strong test-retest reliability for most measures. Individuals with FXS show previously demonstrated increased response amplitude and high frequency neural activity. Despite an overall normal developmental trajectory for most measures, individuals with FXS show age-independent but gender-dependent decreases in complex processing of novel stimuli. Many markers show strong retest reliability even in children and thus are potential biomarkers for clinical trials in FXS.

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