Preattentively grouped tones do not elicit MMN with respect to each other

Authors

  • Walter Ritter,

    1. Cognitive Neurophysiology Laboratory, Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, Orangeburg, New York, USA
    2. Program in Cognitive Neuroscience, Department of Psychology, City College of the City, University of New York, New York, New York, USA
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  • Pierfilippo De Sanctis,

    1. Cognitive Neurophysiology Laboratory, Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, Orangeburg, New York, USA
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  • Sophie Molholm,

    1. Cognitive Neurophysiology Laboratory, Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, Orangeburg, New York, USA
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  • Daniel C. Javitt,

    1. Cognitive Neurophysiology Laboratory, Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, Orangeburg, New York, USA
    2. Program in Cognitive Neuroscience, Department of Psychology, City College of the City, University of New York, New York, New York, USA
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  • John J. Foxe

    1. Cognitive Neurophysiology Laboratory, Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, Orangeburg, New York, USA
    2. Program in Cognitive Neuroscience, Department of Psychology, City College of the City, University of New York, New York, New York, USA
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  • This research was supported by USPHS grant NS30029-26. We are very grateful for the technical assistance and dedication of Ms. Marina Shpaner and Ms. Jeannette Mahoney.

Address reprint requests to: Walter Ritter, P.O. Box 765, Monterey, MA 01245, USA. E-mail: monterey@bcn.net.

Abstract

To promote preattenive grouping of two sets of tones, one set of tones with a combination of frequency and ear of delivery was intermixed with another set of tones with a different combination of frequency and ear of delivery. The ERPs elicited by tones delivered to one ear that were preceded by three or four tones delivered in a row to the other ear were associated with an enhanced N1, due to the changes in frequency and ear of delivery with respect to the immediately preceding tones. However, no mismatch negativity (MMN) was obtained, even though these tones differed from the previious tones on the two dimensions of frequency and ear of delivery. The data were interpreted to signify that preattentively grouped sets of tones do not elicit MMN with respect to one another. This implies that once acoustic input has been preattentively grouped, the MMN system is dedicated to detecting changes that occur within but not between preattentively grouped stimuli.

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