• Language/Speech;
  • Children/Infants;
  • EEG/ERP;
  • MMN;
  • EQ paradigm;
  • Vowel


Mismatch negativity (MMN) overlaps with other auditory event-related potential (ERP) components. We examined the ERPs of 50 9- to 11-year-old children for vowels /i/, /y/ and equivalent complex tones. The goal was to separate MMN from obligatory ERP components using principal component analysis and equal probability control condition. In addition to the contrast of the deviant minus standard response, we employed the contrast of the deviant minus control response, to see whether the obligatory processing contributes to MMN in children. When looking for differences in speech deviant minus standard contrast, MMN starts around 112 ms. However, when both contrasts are examined, MMN emerges for speech at 160 ms whereas for nonspeech MMN is observed at 112 ms regardless of contrast. We argue that this discriminative response to speech stimuli at 112 ms is obligatory in nature rather than reflecting change detection processing.