• Auditory evoked potentials;
  • Magnetic responses;
  • Event-related potentials;
  • Components;
  • N1 wave;
  • Mismatch negativity;
  • Processing negativity


This paper reviews the literature on the Nl wave of the human auditory evoked potential. It concludes that at least six different cerebral processes can contribute to (he negative wave recorded from the scalp with a peak latency between 50 and 150 ms: a component generated in the auditory-cortex on the supratemporal plane, a component generated in the association cortex on the lateral aspect of the temporal and parietal cortex, a component generated in the motor and premotor cortices, the mismatch negativity, a temporal component of the processing negativity, and a frontal component of the processing negativity, The first three, which can be considered ‘true’ N1 components, are controlled by the physical and temporal aspects of the stimulus and by the general state of the subject. The other three components are not necessarily elicited by a stimulus but depend on the conditions in which the stimulus occurs. They often last much longer than the true N1 components that they overlap.