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Responses of the human auditory cortex to changes in one versus two stimulus features

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Neuromagnetic responses were recorded with a 24 SQUID magnetometer in two “oddball” experiments to determine whether mismatch responses to changes in single stimulus features are additive. In experiment 1, the one feature deviants differed from standards in interstimulus interval (ISI) or frequency, and the two feature deviants in both ISI and frequence. In experiment 2, deviants differed in duration, frequency, or both. All deviants evoked a mismatch field (MMF) with sources close to each other in the supratemporal auditory cortex. Except for the ISI deviants, the MMF sources were about 1 cm anterior to the source of the 100ms response, N100m, to the standards. In the two experiments, MMFs obtained in response to the two feature deviants resembled closely the sum of MMFs in response to one feature deviants. The results suggest that the standards leave a multiple neuronal representation in the human auditory cortex. The particular neuronal traces of the representation react independently to changes in different features of sound stimuli.

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Levänen, S., Hari, R., McEvoy, L. et al. Responses of the human auditory cortex to changes in one versus two stimulus features. Exp Brain Res 97, 177–183 (1993). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00228828

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Key words

  • Evoked response
  • Magnetoencephalography
  • Feature detection
  • Mismatch
  • Reaction time
  • Human