Development of Auditory Event-related Potentials in Infants Prenatally Exposed to Methadone

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Developmental Psychobiology




Developmental features of the P2 auditory ERP in a change detection paradigm were examined in infants prenatally exposed to methadone. Opiate dependent pregnant women maintained on methadone replacement therapy were recruited during pregnancy (N = 60). Current and historical alcohol and substance use, SES, and psychiatric status were assessed with a maternal interview during the third trimester. Medical records were used to collect information regarding maternal medications, monthly urinalysis, and breathalyzer to confirm comorbid drug and alcohol exposures. Between birth and 4 months infant ERP change detection performance was evaluated on one occasion with the oddball paradigm (.2 probability oddball) using pure-tone stimuli (standard = 1 kHz and oddball = 2 kHz frequency) at midline electrode sites, Fz, Cz, Pz. Infant groups were examined in the following developmental windows: 4–15, 16–32, or 33–120 days PNA. Older groups showed increased P2 amplitude at Fz and effective change detection performance at P2 not seen in the newborn group. Developmental maturation of amplitude and stimulus discrimination for P2 has been reported in developing infants at all of the ages tested and data reported here in the older infants are consistent with typical development. However, it has been previously reported that the P2 amplitude difference is detectable in neonates; therefore, absence of a difference in P2 amplitude between stimuli in the 4–15 days group may represent impaired ERP performance by neonatal abstinence syndrome or prenatal methadone exposure. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Dev Psychobiol 56: 1119–1128, 2014.