Differential cerebral reactivity to shortest and longer tones: Neuromagnetic and behavioral evidence

Chia Hsiung Cheng, Wan Yu Hsu, Yang Hsin Shih, Hsuan Chun Lin, Kwong Kum Liao, Zin An Wu, Yung Yang Lin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

11 Scopus citations


Detecting a change in sound duration is important in language processing. The cerebral reactivity to a duration deviant in oddball paradigm has been reflected as a mismatch negativity (MMN). This study aimed to see cerebral responses to several duration-varying sounds presented with equal probability. Magnetoencephalographic (MEG) and behavior responses to equi-probable sounds (25-50-75-100-125 ms or 50-75-100-125-150 ms tones) were recorded in 10 healthy adult volunteers. By subtracting the average of the responses to 4 longer tones from the response to the shortest tone, a clear deflection peaking at 100-200 ms from stimulus onset was identified. This activity was called as sub-standard MMNm, and its amplitude tended to increase with the increment of duration deviance within a stimulation paradigm. The source of sub-standard MMNm was localized in superior temporal area, with 5-6 mm more anterior to the generator of N100m response. Behavioral tests also showed best performance in the recognition of the shortest tone than longer tones. In conclusion, the preferential response to the shortest tone in an equiprobable paradigm suggests an asymmetrical processing in the auditory cortex for duration-varying sounds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)260-270
Number of pages11
JournalHearing Research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 09 2010
Externally publishedYes


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