Symposium: Development of auditory and speech processing in infants and children
Wednesday, Sep 9, 2015
Hörsaal 3

Infant mismatch responses to complex auditory stimuli

Eino Partanen

Center of Functionally Integrative Neuroscience (CFIN)/MINDLab, University of Aarhus, Aarhus C, Denmark

While the MMN has been extensively used to assess infant auditory discrimination since the first infant MMN study in 1990 (Alho et al.), there has been considerable variation in both the MMN polarity and latency among the published studies. Although the longitudinal studies on MMN (e.g. Shafer et al., 2011; Choudhury et al., 2010) suggest that positive MMNs precede negative MMNs in the developmental timeline, a majority of the studies in newborns have reported negative MMNs. Furthermore, several studies have indicated that the infant MMN polarity seems to be associated with both maturational and attentional factors (e.g. Leppänen et al., 2004; Friederici et al., 2002), but also with stimulus parameters, such as the magnitude of change and presentation rate.

In this presentation, the current literature on infant MMN responses to complex stimuli will be reviewed, with an emphasis on factors underlying the observed differences in MMN polarity and latency across the various studies. Furthermore, the presentation will discuss the possibility of dual model of change detection, with positive and negative infant MMN responses being indicative of different types of change detection mechanism in the developing brain.