Date of this Version
PLoS ONE 4(3): e4811.
Background: As magnetoencephalography (MEG) is of increasing utility in the assessment of deficits and development delays in brain disorders in pediatrics, it becomes imperative to fully understand the functional development of the brain in children.
Methodology: The present study was designed to characterize the developmental patterns of auditory evoked magnetic responses with respect to age and gender. Sixty children and twenty adults were studied with a 275-channel MEG system.
Conclusions: Three main responses were identified at approximately 46 ms (M50), 71 ms (M70) and 106 ms (M100) in latency for children. The latencies of M70 and M100 shortened with age in both hemispheres; the latency of M50 shortened with age only in the right hemisphere. Analysis of developmental lateralization patterns in children showed that the latency of the right hemispheric evoked responses shortened faster than the corresponding left hemispheric responses. The latency of M70 in the right hemisphere highly correlated to the age of the child. The amplitudes of the M70 responses increased with age and reached their peaks in children 12–14 years of age, after which they decreased with age. The source estimates for the M50 and M70 responses indicated that they were generated in different subareas in the Heschl’s gyrus in children, while not localizable in adults. Furthermore, gender also affected developmental patterns. The latency of M70 in the right hemisphere was proposed to be an index of auditory development in children, the modeling equation is 85.72-1.240xAge (yrs). Our results demonstrate that there is a clear developmental pattern in the auditory cortex and underscore the importance of M50 and M70 in the developing brain.