Reliability of mismatch negativity event-related potentials in a multisite, traveling subjects study

Clin Neurophysiol. 2020 Dec;131(12):2899-2909. doi: 10.1016/j.clinph.2020.09.027. Epub 2020 Oct 22.


Objective: To determine the optimal methods for measuring mismatch negativity (MMN), an auditory event-related potential (ERP), and quantify sources of MMN variance in a multisite setting.

Methods: Reliability of frequency, duration, and double (frequency + duration) MMN was determined from eight traveling subjects, tested on two occasions at eight laboratory sites. Deviant-specific variance components were estimated for MMN peak amplitude and latency measures using different ERP processing methods. Generalizability (G) coefficients were calculated using two-facet (site and occasion), fully-crossed models and single-facet (occasion) models within each laboratory to assess MMN reliability.

Results: G-coefficients calculated from two-facet models indicated fair (0.4 < G<=0.6) duration MMN reliability at electrode Fz, but poor (G < 0.4) double and frequency MMN reliability. Single-facet G-coefficients averaged across laboratory resulted in improved reliability (G > 0.5). MMN amplitude reliability was greater than latency reliability, and reliability with mastoid referencing significantly outperformed nose-referencing.

Conclusions: EEG preprocessing methods have an impact on the reliability of MMN amplitude. Within site MMN reliability can be excellent, consistent with prior single site studies.

Significance: With standardized data collection and ERP processing, MMN can be reliably obtained in multisite studies, providing larger samples sizeswithin rare patient groups.

Keywords: EEG; Event-Related Potentials (ERP); Intra-class correlation coefficients (ICC); Mismatch Negativity (MMN); Psychosis; Reliability.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation / methods
  • Acoustic Stimulation / standards
  • Adult
  • Electroencephalography / methods
  • Electroencephalography / standards*
  • Evoked Potentials / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Travel*
  • Young Adult