Auditory stimulus blocks were presented to 10 reading subjects. Each block consisted of 2 types of stimulus, standard (P = 90%) and deviant (P = 10%), delivered in a random order with short constant inter-stimulus intervals. The standard stimuli were 600 Hz, 80 dB SPL 50 msec sine wave bursts. In different blocks, the deviant stimuli differed from the standards either in frequency (650 Hz), intensity (70 dB) or duration (20 msec). Left- and right-ear stimulations were used in separate blocks. Event-related brain potentials (ERPs) were recorded with 16 electrodes over both hemispheres. All the different types of deviant stimuli elicited an ERP component called the mismatch negativity (MMN). The MMN was larger over the right hemisphere irrespective of the ear stimulated whereas the N1 component, elicited by both standards, and deviants, was larger over the hemisphere contralateral to the ear stimulated. The results provide further evidence for the view that the MMN reflects a neural mismatch process with a memory trace which automatically codes the physical features of the repetitive stimuli. © 1991.
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