This investigation examined the impact of spinal cord injury (SCI) on task-relevant processing using event-related potentials. Thirty-seven participants with chronic SCI and 37 healthy able-bodied controls were tested in this study. An auditory two-tone button press oddball discrimination paradigm was used to evoke the N100, P200, N200, and P300 components of the event-related potential. During the early sensory/perceptual stages of target stimulus processing, the SCI group showed an earlier right posterior P200 latency relative to the controls. In the later more cognitive stages, a pattern of diminished left and right posterior P300 amplitude was also evident. This was further coupled with increased false-positive errors and greater variability of response time in the SCI group. The results of this study indicate that people with SCI show disturbances in inhibitory function and alterations in both early perceptual encoding processes and in later executive functioning that engages contextual/memory-updating operations.
- Event-related potentials
- Spinal cord injury