The mismatch negativity (MMN) in basic research of central auditory processing: a review

Clin Neurophysiol. 2007 Dec;118(12):2544-90. doi: 10.1016/j.clinph.2007.04.026. Epub 2007 Oct 10.


In the present article, the basic research using the mismatch negativity (MMN) and analogous results obtained by using the magnetoencephalography (MEG) and other brain-imaging technologies is reviewed. This response is elicited by any discriminable change in auditory stimulation but recent studies extended the notion of the MMN even to higher-order cognitive processes such as those involving grammar and semantic meaning. Moreover, MMN data also show the presence of automatic intelligent processes such as stimulus anticipation at the level of auditory cortex. In addition, the MMN enables one to establish the brain processes underlying the initiation of attention switch to, conscious perception of, sound change in an unattended stimulus stream.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Attention / physiology*
  • Auditory Perception / physiology*
  • Cerebral Cortex / anatomy & histology
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Dominance, Cerebral / physiology
  • Evoked Potentials / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Magnetoencephalography / methods*
  • Pitch Discrimination / physiology
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Speech Perception / physiology