Mismatch negativity (MMN) for sequences of auditory and visual stimuli: evidence for a mechanism specific to the auditory modality

G. Nyman, K. Alho, P. Laurinen, P. Paavilainen, T. Radil, K. Reinikainen, M. Sams, R. Näätänen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

70 Citations (Scopus)


ERPs to sequences of standard and deviant sinusoidal 100 msec tone pips, high-contrast sinusoidal gratings and to their simultaneously presented combinations were recorded. Mismatch negativity (MMN), an ERP component elicited by deviant stimuli, was estimated for the different stimulus sequences in order to find out whether it reflects modality-specific processes or non-specific attentive phenomena. In addition to the auditory modality, we studied whether the mismatch response could be evoked by a deviant visual stimulus in a visual sequence or by a deviant stimulus in either modality. The results show that only auditory stimuli produced the mismatch response, suggesting that MMN is not a manifestation of a general attentional mechanism but is probably specific to the auditory modality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)436-444
Number of pages9
JournalElectroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology/ Evoked Potentials
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1990
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Audition
  • Event-related potentials
  • Mismatch negativity
  • Vision

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