Asymmetry of automatic change detection shown by the visual mismatch negativity: An additional feature is identified faster than missing features

István Czigler, István Sulykos, Krisztina Kecskés-Kovács

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)


In two experiments, we demonstrated that an asymmetric effect of the brain electric activity that is elicited by nonattended visual stimuli is similar to the one found in responses observed in the performance of visual search tasks. The automatic detection of violated sequential regularities was investigated by measuring the visual mismatch negativity (vMMN) component of event-related brain potentials (ERPs). In Experiment 1, within a sequence of stimulus displays with O characters, infrequently presented Q characters elicited an earlier vMMN than did infrequent O characters within a sequence of Q characters. In Experiment 2, similar asymmetric results emerged if only 16 % of the characters were different within an infrequent display. In both experiments, these stimuli were irrelevant; during the stimulus sequences, participants performed a demanding videogame. We suggest that the underlying match/mismatch and decision processes are similar in the vMMN and in the attention-related visual search paradigm, at least in the case of the stimuli in the present experiments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)278-285
Number of pages8
JournalCognitive, Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014



  • Change detection
  • Search asymmetry
  • Visual mismatch negativity
  • Visual perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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