Mismatch response of the human brain to changes in sound location

Neuroreport. 1996 Nov 25;7(18):3005-8. doi: 10.1097/00001756-199611250-00041.


WE investigated whether the enhanced negativity of the human event-related brain potential elicited by changes in auditory lateralization is due to a higher-order change-detection process or whether it can be explained exclusively in terms of selective sensory adaptation. Infrequent changes in lateralization of a repetitive standard tone, generated by changes in interaural time differences, elicited a frontocentrally distributed negative brain wave in the 100-250 ms range relative to stimulus onset. This brain wave was also elicited when possible sensory adaptation was prevented by controlling for the state of refractoriness of location-specific neurones. The results demonstrate that changes in lateralization elicit a genuine mismatch negativity (MMN), indicating the activity of an automatic higher-order change-detection process.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Electroencephalography
  • Evoked Potentials, Auditory / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory / physiology
  • Refractory Period, Electrophysiological / physiology
  • Sound Localization / physiology*