Magnetoencephalographic recordings demonstrate attentional modulation of mismatch-related neural activity in human auditory cortex.

Journal Article (Clinical Trial;Journal Article)

It is widely agreed that the negative brain potential elicited at 150-200 ms by a deviant, less intense sound in a repetitive series can be modulated by attention. To investigate whether this modulation represents a genuine attention effect on the mismatch negativity (MMN) arising from auditory cortex or attention-related activity from another brain region, we recorded both the MMN and the mismatch magnetic field (MMF) elicited by such deviants in a dichotic listening task. Deviant tones in the attended ear elicited a sizable MMF that was well modeled as a dipolar source in auditory cortex. Both the MMN and MMF to unattended-ear deviants were highly attenuated. These findings support the view that the MMN/MMF elicited in auditory cortex by intensity deviants, and thus the underlying feature-analysis and mismatch-detection processes, are not strongly automatic but rather can be gated or suppressed if attention is strongly focused elsewhere.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Woldorff, MG; Hillyard, SA; Gallen, CC; Hampson, SR; Bloom, FE

Published Date

  • May 1998

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 35 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 283 - 292

PubMed ID

  • 9564748

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0048-5772

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1017/s0048577298961601


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States