• Complex sounds;
  • Magnetoencephalography;
  • Mismatch negativity;
  • Audtory cortex


Processing of simple and complex sounds in the human brain was compared by recording extracranial magnetic mismatch responses (MMNm; the magnetic counterpart of the mismatch negativity, or MMN) to frequency changes in these sounds. Generator sources, modeled as equivalent current dipoles (ECDs), of MMNm responses to a change in one frequency element of complex sounds (a chord and a serial tone pattern) were located in supratemporal auditory cortex, on average, 10 mm medially to the source of an MMNm elicited by an identical frequency change in a simple tone. These results suggest that at least partially different supratemporal neuron populations are invovled in processing changes in simple and complex sounds and that sensory-memory representations for these sounds may be located in different fields of the auditory cortex.