Pre-conference workshop: Methodological aspects of MMN research
Tuesday, Sep 8, 2015
Pre-MMN indicators of deviance detection
Institute of Psychology, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany
The mismatch negativity is the most important, yet not the earliest scalp-recorded index of deviance detection. Several event-related potential (ERP) studies reported that in the oddball paradigm, compared to repeated standard sounds, simple-feature deviants are accompanied by enhanced middle-latency responses (MLR) occurring in the first 50 ms after sound onset. Whereas part of this effect seems primarily due to a reduction of the MLR to standard sounds, some findings indicate that a genuine deviance-related effect is contributing to the enhancement as well. This is in line with the findings from animal studies showing stimulus-specific adaptation (SSA), i.e. a reduced neural response to repeated sounds, which is restored or elevated when presenting a deviant sound.
In this talk, I provide methodological suggestions and guidance for measuring and analyzing the MLR, which constitutes a rather small signal embedded in high levels of background noise. Further, I will overview the usefulness of MLR measurements when investigating perception and cognition, as well as their limitations. Particularly, I will discuss studies measuring MLR during auditory deviance detection and focus on their implications on our understanding of the functional organization of regularity encoding and the detection of violations in the auditory system.