Effect of deviance direction and calculation method on duration and frequency mismatch negativity (MMN)

Varghese Peter*, Genevieve McArthur, William Forde Thompson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


The mismatch negativity (MMN) component of the auditory event-related potential (ERP) reflects the process of change detection in the auditory system. The present study investigated the effect of deviance direction (increment vs. decrement) and calculation method (traditional vs. same-stimulus) on the amplitude of MMN. MMN was recorded for increments and decrements in frequency and duration in 20 adults. The stimuli (standard/deviant) were 250. Hz/350. Hz (frequency MMN) and 200. ms/300. ms (duration MMN) for increment MMN and vice versa for decrement MMN. Amplitude of MMN was calculated in two ways: the traditional method (subtracting ERP to the standard from the deviant presented in the same block) and the same-stimulus method (subtracting ERP to identical stimuli presented as standard in one block and deviant in another block). We found that increments in frequency produced higher MMN amplitudes compared to decrements for both methods of calculation. For duration deviance, the decrement MMN was absent in the traditional method, while the decrement and increment MMN did not differ for the same-stimulus method. These findings suggest that the brain processes frequency increments and decrements in different ways. The results also suggest the use of same-stimulus method for the calculation of duration MMN when long duration stimuli are used.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-75
Number of pages5
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2010


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