Discriminant analysis (DA) and self-organizing feature maps (SOFM) were used to classify passively evoked auditory event-related potentials (ERP) P1, N1, P2 and N2. Responses from 16 children with severe behavioral auditory perception deficits, 16 children with marked behavioral auditory perception deficits, and 14 controls were examined. Eighteen ERP amplitude parameters were selected for examination of statistical differences between the groups. Different DA methods and SOFM configurations were trained to the values. SOFM had better classification results than DA methods. Subsequently, measures on another 37 subjects that were unknown for the trained SOFM were used to test the reliability of the system. With 10-dimensional vectors, reliable classifications were obtained that matched behavioral auditory perception deficits in 96%, implying central auditory processing disorder (CAPD). The results also support the assumption that CAPD includes a 'non-peripheral' auditory processing deficit. Copyright (C) 2000 S. Karger AG, Basel.