Event-related brain potential correlates of human auditory sensory memory-trace formation

Haenschel, Corinna; Vernon, David J.; Dwivedi, Prabuddh; Gruzelier, John and Baldeweg, Torsten. 2005. Event-related brain potential correlates of human auditory sensory memory-trace formation. Journal of Neuroscience, 25(45), pp. 10494-10501. ISSN 0270-6474 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

The event-related potential (ERP) component mismatch negativity (MMN) is a neural marker of human echoic memory. MMN is elicited by deviant sounds embedded in a stream of frequent standards, reflecting the deviation from an inferred memory trace of the standard stimulus. The strength of this memory trace is thought to be proportional to the number of repetitions of the standard tone, visible as the progressive enhancement of MMN with number of repetitions (MMN memory-trace effect). However, no direct ERP correlates of the formation of echoic memory traces are currently known. This study set out to investigate changes in ERPs to different numbers of repetitions of standards, delivered in a roving-stimulus paradigm in which the frequency of the standard stimulus changed randomly between stimulus trains. Normal healthy volunteers (n = 40) were engaged in two experimental conditions: during passive listening and while actively discriminating changes in tone frequency. As predicted, MMN increased with increasing number of standards. However, this MMN memory-trace effect was caused mainly by enhancement with stimulus repetition of a slow positive wave from 50 to 250 ms poststimulus in the standard ERP, which is termed here "repetition positivity" (RP). This RP was recorded from frontocentral electrodes when participants were passively listening to or actively discriminating changes in tone frequency. RP may represent a human ERP correlate of rapid and stimulus-specific adaptation, a candidate neuronal mechanism underlying sensory memory formation in the auditory cortex.

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9 November 2005Published

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16 Mar 2011 14:38

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30 Jun 2017 15:27

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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