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The detection of constancy amidst change in children: A dissociation of preattentive and intentional processing

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 January 2002

SOPHIE MOLHOLM
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, City College of the City University of New York, New York, NY, USA Department of Neuroscience, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY, USA Program in Cognitive Neuroscience and Schizophrenia, Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, Orangeburg, NY, USA
HILARY GOMES
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, City College of the City University of New York, New York, NY, USA Department of Neurology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY, USA
WALTER RITTER
Affiliation:
Department of Neuroscience, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY, USA Program in Cognitive Neuroscience and Schizophrenia, Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, Orangeburg, NY, USA
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Abstract

This study examined whether 7–9-year-old children preattentively build memories of constancy for individual stimulus features, and if these representations are affected by variability of other stimulus features. This was achieved by looking at the mismatch negativity (MMN) event-related potential to a duration deviant occurring in a stimulus environment in which one or two other features constantly changed. Performance data were also collected, to look at the correspondence between the effects of this manipulation on preattentive and intentional deviance detection. MMN data indicated that the children built a preattentive feature-based memory of constancy that was not affected by the number of varying features. In contrast, intentional deviance detection was considerably impaired by the introduction of feature variability. This dissociation is at variance with previous studies that usually report close association between MMN and behavior.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 2001 Society for Psychophysiological Research

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