Regularity encoding and deviance detection of frequency modulated sweeps: Human middle- and long-latency auditory evoked potentials

Authors

  • Miriam Cornella,

    1. Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behavior (IR3C) and Cognitive Neuroscience Research Group, Department of Psychiatry and Clinical Psychobiology, University of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
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  • Sumie Leung,

    1. Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behavior (IR3C) and Cognitive Neuroscience Research Group, Department of Psychiatry and Clinical Psychobiology, University of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
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  • Sabine Grimm,

    1. Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behavior (IR3C) and Cognitive Neuroscience Research Group, Department of Psychiatry and Clinical Psychobiology, University of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
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  • Carles Escera

    Corresponding author
    1. Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behavior (IR3C) and Cognitive Neuroscience Research Group, Department of Psychiatry and Clinical Psychobiology, University of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
    • Address correspondence to: Carles Escera, PhD, Professor, Cognitive Neuroscience Research Group, Department of Psychiatry and Clinical Psychobiology, University of Barcelona, P. Vall d'Hebron 171, 08035-Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. E-mail: cescera@ub.edu

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  • This work was supported by the the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Knowledge (Programa Euroinvestigación—EUI2009-04086, ERANET-NEURON PANS Project), the program Consolider-Ingenio 2010 (CDS2007-00012), a Juan de la Cierva fellowship awarded to Sabine Grimm (JCI-2009-04401), a grant from the Catalan Government (SGR2009-11), and the ICREA Academia Distinguished Professorship awarded to Carles Escera. We thank Sabina Mateo León and Carles Costa Bertolín for their laboratory assistance.

Abstract

Fast encoding of frequency modulated (FM) sweeps is crucial for communication. In humans, FM sweeps deviating from the acoustic regularity elicit the mismatch negativity (MMN) evoked potential. Yet, direction sensitivity to FM sweeps is found in animals' primary auditory cortex, upstream of MMN sources found in humans. Here, we were interested in whether direction deviants of complex FM sweeps modulated brain responses earlier than MMN. We used a controlled oddball paradigm, and measured the middle latency responses (MLRs) and the MMN. Our results showed a repetition enhancement to the standards at the Pa component of the MLR and a genuine MMN in the later response range. These results show that, early in the cortical hierarchy, the system is sensitive to the physical characteristics of the repetitive stimuli, but a higher-order mechanism is needed to detect violations of the acoustic regularity.

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