Predictive processing of pitch trends in newborn infants

Gábor P. Háden, Renáta Németh, Miklós Török, István Winkler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)


The notion of predictive sound processing suggests that the auditory system prepares for upcoming sounds once it has detected regular features within a sequence. Here we investigated whether predictive processes are operating at birth in the human auditory system. Event-related potentials (ERP) were recorded from healthy newborns to occasional ascending pitch steps occurring in the 2nd or the 5th position within trains of tones with otherwise monotonously descending pitch. If the trains were processed in a predictive manner only deviant pitch steps occurring in the later train position would elicit the discriminative mismatch response (MMR). Deviants delivered in the 5th but not in the 2nd position of the tone trains elicited a significant MMR response. These results suggest that newborns represent pitch trends within sound sequences and they process them in a predictive manner. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Prediction and Attention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-20
Number of pages7
JournalBrain research
Publication statusPublished - Nov 11 2015



  • Abbreviations ANOVA analysis of variance
  • EEG electroencephalogram
  • ERP event-related potential
  • ISI inter-stimulus interval
  • MMN mismatch negativity
  • MMR mismatch response

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology

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