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Preattentive extraction of abstract feature conjunctions from auditory stimulation as reflected by the mismatch negativity (MMN)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 March 2001

PETRI PAAVILAINEN
Affiliation:
Cognitive Brain Research Unit, Department of Psychology, University of Helsinki, Finland
JAANA SIMOLA
Affiliation:
Cognitive Brain Research Unit, Department of Psychology, University of Helsinki, Finland
MARIA JARAMILLO
Affiliation:
Cognitive Brain Research Unit, Department of Psychology, University of Helsinki, Finland
RISTO NÄÄTÄNEN
Affiliation:
Cognitive Brain Research Unit, Department of Psychology, University of Helsinki, Finland BioMag Laboratory, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland
ISTVÁN WINKLER
Affiliation:
Cognitive Brain Research Unit, Department of Psychology, University of Helsinki, Finland Institute for Psychology, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary
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Abstract

Brain mechanisms extracting invariant information from varying auditory inputs were studied using the mismatch-negativity (MMN) brain response. We wished to determine whether the preattentive sound-analysis mechanisms, reflected by MMN, are capable of extracting invariant relationships based on abstract conjunctions between two sound features. The standard stimuli varied over a large range in frequency and intensity dimensions following the rule that the higher the frequency, the louder the intensity. The occasional deviant stimuli violated this frequency–intensity relationship and elicited an MMN. The results demonstrate that preattentive processing of auditory stimuli extends to unexpectedly complex relationships between the stimulus features.

Type
BRIEF REPORT
Copyright
2001 Society for Psychophysiological Research

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Preattentive extraction of abstract feature conjunctions from auditory stimulation as reflected by the mismatch negativity (MMN)
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