Electroencephalography effects to semantic and non-semantic mismatch in properties of visually presented single-characters: The N2b and the N400

Dénes Szucs, Fruzsina Soltész, István Czigler, Valéria Csépe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Citations (Scopus)


Event-related potential (ERP) correlates of semantic and non-semantic mismatch in the 200-400 ms time interval were dissociated. Twelve subjects observed pairs of single letters and digits presented serially, and decided whether the colour (blue or red) or the category membership (letter or number) of the second item in a pair matched the first one. In both tasks mismatch elicited central N2b components (220 ms peak latency in the colour matching task, and 280 ms peak latency in the category matching task). Furthermore, in the category matching task a centro-parietal negativity (N400) emerged. The topography of the N2b effect was clearly distinct from that of the N400 effect. Analysis of event-related spectral perturbations confirmed that N400 time-range effects were specific to category matching. We conclude that while the N400 effect is a specific marker of semantic mismatch, the N2b effect is a general correlate of detecting mismatch between the representations of task-relevant features.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-23
Number of pages6
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 22 2007



  • Categorization
  • N2
  • N270
  • N2b
  • N300
  • N400
  • Semantic mismatch

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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