Mismatch negativity: Deviance detection or the maintenance of the 'standard'

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Electric brain responses were measured to infrequent tones that broke the frequency alternation of two tones, deviated in duration or violated both regularities (alternation and constant duration). Mismatch negativity (MMN) was elicited by both simple deviants with the duration-related MMN peaking ~130 ms later than the alternation-related MMN. The double deviant elicited two successive MMNs. Thus violation of each regularity elicited a separate MMN, whereas previous studies showed that multiple temporally separate deviations from a single repetitive standard elicit one MMN only. These results suggest that the primary function of the MMN-generating process is more closely related to maintaining the representation of auditory regularities than to deviance detection per se.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3809-3813
Number of pages5
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 1998



  • Audition
  • Change detection
  • Context updating
  • Event-related potentials (ERP)
  • Mismatch negativity (MMN)
  • Passive attention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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