Pre-conference workshop: Visual mismatch negativity
Tuesday, Sep 8, 2015
SKH Z005

Methods in vMMN research (controlling attention, and adaptation)

István Czigler

Cognitive Neuroscience 1, Centre for Natural Sciences, Institute for Cognitive Neuroscience and Psychology, Budapest, Hungary

According to the Web of Science database in the last 10 years more than 100 papers were published in the topic of ‘visual mismatch negativity’ (vMMN). In comparison to the auditory MMN, methods of these studies were rather diverse. Due to the richness of visual features and patterns, many different types of stimuli were used, and different methods were developed for diverting attention from the vMMN-related stimuli. Furthermore, unlike the fairly regular appearance of the obligatory auditory event-related potential (ERP) components, the structure of the obligatory visual ERPs is a function of a rich set of stimulus parameters (stimulated part of the retina, spatial contrast, composition of spatial frequencies, contour appearance, etc.). The variability of ERP components makes difficult to separate the deviant-related (‘genuine’ vMMN) effects from standard-related (stimulus-specific adaptation) changes in the expected latency range and scalp locations of the vMMN. The separation is important, even if adaptation/refractoriness cannot be considered as an irrelevant consequence of low-level physiological processes, i.e, both effects are parts of the processes involved into the mismatch paradigms.