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Keywords:

  • Mismatch negativity (MMN);
  • N1;
  • N100;
  • Event-related potential;
  • Event-related field;
  • Electroencephalography;
  • Magnetoencephalography;
  • Human;
  • Auditory;
  • Memory;
  • Attention;
  • Computational modeling;
  • Cortex;
  • Adaptation;
  • Lateral inhibition

Abstract

The current review constitutes the first comprehensive look at the possibility that the mismatch negativity (MMN, the deflection of the auditory ERP/ERF elicited by stimulus change) might be generated by so-called fresh-afferent neuronal activity. This possibility has been repeatedly ruled out for the past 30 years, with the prevailing theoretical accounts relying on a memory-based explanation instead. We propose that the MMN is, in essence, a latency- and amplitude-modulated expression of the auditory N1 response, generated by fresh-afferent activity of cortical neurons that are under nonuniform levels of adaptation.