Do event-related potentials reveal the mechanism of the auditory sensory memory in the human brain?

Risto Näätänen*, Petri Paavilainen, Kimmo Alho, Kalevi Reinikainen, Mikko Sams

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

259 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Event-related brain potentials (ERP) to task-irrelevant tone pips presented at short intervals were recorded from the scalp of normal human subjects. Infrequent decrements in stimulus intensity elicited the mismatch negativity (MMN) which was larger in amplitude and shorter in latency the softer the deviant stimulus was. The results obtained imply memory representations which develop automatically and accurately represent the physical features of the repetitive stimulus. These memory traces appear to be those of the acoustic sensory memory, the 'echoic' memory. When an input does not match with such a trace the MMN is generated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-221
Number of pages5
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Volume98
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Mar 1989
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Automatic processing
  • Event-related potential
  • Memory trace
  • Mismatch negativity
  • Neuronal representation
  • Sensory memory
  • Stimulus discrimination

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