The present study examined the latency and amplitude of P300 in a large sample of subjects between 11 and 21 years old. The P300 components of the visual event-related potential showed consistent and significant age-related changes. Peak amplitude was found to diminish with increasing age, whereas peak latency decreased. Our data indicate that a linear relationship best explains the association between age and P300 amplitude and latency. The changes in P300 amplitude and latency across the different ages are likely to reflect developmental changes in mental processing that are not due to a decrease in general cortical reactivity with increasing age or the result of subject noncompliance.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (DA 051471 and the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alco- holism (AA 00175). Scott Carlson and Amy assistedw ith data processing.