The mismatch negativity (MMN): towards the optimal paradigm

Clin Neurophysiol. 2004 Jan;115(1):140-4. doi: 10.1016/j.clinph.2003.04.001.


Objective: Recent studies have shown that the mismatch negativity (MMN), a change-specific component of the event-related potential (ERP), for particular auditory features is degraded in different clinical populations. This suggests that the MMN could, in principle, reflect the whole profile and extent of the central auditory deficit. In the present article, we tested a new MMN paradigm allowing one to obtain MMNs for several auditory attributes in a short time.

Methods: MMN responses to changes in frequency, intensity, duration, location, and to a silent gap occasionally inserted in the middle of a tone were compared between the traditional 'oddball' paradigm (a single type of auditory change in each sequence) and the new paradigm (two versions) in which all the 5 types of changes appeared within the same sequence.

Results: The MMNs obtained in the new paradigm were equal in amplitude to those in the traditional MMN paradigm.

Conclusions: We propose a new paradigm that can provide 5 different MMNs in the same time in which usually only one MMN is obtained. The new paradigm enables one to objectively determine the profile of different auditory discrimination abilities within a very short recording time.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Adult
  • Auditory Perception / physiology*
  • Discrimination, Psychological / physiology
  • Electrodes
  • Electroencephalography
  • Evoked Potentials, Auditory / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pitch Perception / physiology
  • Reference Values
  • Sound Localization / physiology