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Psychophysiology. 2001 Mar;38(2):359-65.

Preattentive extraction of abstract feature conjunctions from auditory stimulation as reflected by the mismatch negativity (MMN).

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Department of Psychology, University of Helsinki, Finland. Petri.Paavilainen@Helsinki.Fi


Brain mechanisms extracting invariant information from varying auditory inputs were studied using the mismatch-negativity (MMN) brain response. We wished to determine whether the preattentive sound-analysis mechanisms, reflected by MMN, are capable of extracting invariant relationships based on abstract conjunctions between two sound features. The standard stimuli varied over a large range in frequency and intensity dimensions following the rule that the higher the frequency, the louder the intensity. The occasional deviant stimuli violated this frequency-intensity relationship and elicited an MMN. The results demonstrate that preattentive processing of auditory stimuli extends to unexpectedly complex relationships between the stimulus features.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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