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Psychophysiology. 2010 Jan 1;47(1):66-122. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8986.2009.00856.x. Epub 2009 Jul 21.

Mismatch negativity (MMN), the deviance-elicited auditory deflection, explained.

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1
Department of Biomedical Engineering and Computational Science, Helsinki University of Technology, Espoo, Finland. patrick.may@tkk.fi

Abstract

The current review constitutes the first comprehensive look at the possibility that the mismatch negativity (MMN, the deflection of the auditory ERP/ERF elicited by stimulus change) might be generated by so-called fresh-afferent neuronal activity. This possibility has been repeatedly ruled out for the past 30 years, with the prevailing theoretical accounts relying on a memory-based explanation instead. We propose that the MMN is, in essence, a latency- and amplitude-modulated expression of the auditory N1 response, generated by fresh-afferent activity of cortical neurons that are under nonuniform levels of adaptation.

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