Koelsch, S., Gunter, T. C., Schröger, E., Tervaniemi, M., Sammler, D., & Friederici, A. D. (2001). Differentiating ERAN and MMN: an ERP study. Neuroreport, 12(7), 1385-1389.

Differentiating ERAN and MMN: an ERP study

In the present study, the early right-anterior negativity (ERAN) elicited by harmonically inappropriate chords during listening to music was compared to the frequency mismatch negativity (MMN) and the abstract-feature MMN. Results revealed that the amplitude of the ERAN, in contrast to the MMN, is specifically dependent on the degree of harmonic appropriateness. Thus, the ERAN is correlated with the cognitive processing of complex rule-based information, i.e. with the application of music-syntactic rules. Moreover, results showed that the ERAN, compared to the abstract-feature MMN, had both a longer latency, and a larger amplitude. The combined findings indicate that ERAN and MMN reflect different mechanisms of pre-attentive irregularity detection, and that, although both components have several features in common, the ERAN does not easily fit into the classical MMN framework. The present ERPs thus provide evidence for a differentiation of cognitive processes underlying the fast and pre-attentive processing of auditory information.


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

Fax: +49 341 97-39271