In a simple prime–target auditory rhyming event-related potential (ERP) paradigm with adults and 6-, 7-, and 8-year-old children, nonword stimuli (e.g., nin–rin, ked–voo) were used to investigate neurocognitive systems involved in rhyming and their development across the early school years. Even absent semantic content, the typical CNV to primes and late rhyming effect (RE) to targets were evident in all age groups. The RE consisted of a more negative response to nonrhyming targets as compared to rhyming targets over posterior sites, with a reversal of this pattern at lateral anterior sites. The hypothesis that the CNV indexes phonological memory processes was not well supported by correlation analyses conducted with the ERP measures and scores on standardized behavioral tests. However, the onset of the rhyming effect was later in those scoring lower on phonological awareness measures.

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