MMN or no MMN: No magnitude of deviance effect on the MMN amplitude

János Horváth, István Czigler, Thomas Jacobsen, Burkhard Maess, Erich Schröger, István Winkler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

99 Citations (Scopus)


Based on results showing that the "deviant-minus-standard" estimate of the mismatch negativity (MMN) amplitude increases with increasing amounts of deviance, it has been suggested that the MMN amplitude reflects the amount of difference between the neural representations of the standard and the deviant sound. However, the deviant-minus-standard waveform also includes an N1 difference. We tested the effects of the magnitude of deviance on MMN while minimizing this N1 confound. We found no significant magnitude of deviance effect on the genuine MMN amplitude. Thus we suggest that the average MMN amplitude does not reflect the difference between neural stimulus representations; rather it may index the percentage of detected deviants, each of which elicits an MMN response of uniform amplitude. These results are compatible with an explanation suggesting that MMN is involved in maintaining a neural representation of the auditory environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-69
Number of pages10
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2008


  • Attention switching
  • Auditory change detection
  • ERP
  • Frequency change
  • Magnitude of deviance
  • Memory updating
  • Mismatch negativity (MMN)
  • N1
  • Stimulus representation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Biological Psychiatry

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