Jacobsen, T., Horenkamp, T., & Schröger, E. (2003). Preattentive memory-based comparison of sound intensity. Audiology and Neuro-Otology, 8(6), 338-346.

Preattentive memory-based comparison of sound intensity

Changes in the intensity of repeated, ignored sounds elicit the mismatch negativity (MMN) brain response which reflects preattentive detection of the change. It is generally assumed that the MMN in response to intensity changes reflects a memory-based comparison mechanism rather than being due to differential states of refractoriness of intensity-specific cortical neurons. In the present study, an experimental protocol consisting of 4 oddball blocks and 1 control block was used in order to separate memory-comparison-related effects from refractoriness-related ones. This design allowed an assessment of intensity MMN using physically identical stimuli with equal probability of occurrence in separate blocks, while avoiding contamination by refractoriness. Results were consistent with an MMN in response to intensity change that reflects genuine memory-based comparison.


Cognitive and Biological Psychology

University of Leipzig
Faculty of Life Sciences
Institute of Psychology
Neumarkt 9-19
D-04109 Leipzig


Dagmar Schrödl
Phone: +49 341 97-39570
Email: dagmar dot schroedl at uni-leipzig dot de

Dorit Thieme
Phone: +49 341 97-39540
Email: d dot thieme at uni-leipzig dot de

Fax: +49 341 97-39271