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Mismatch negativity (MMN) to pitch change is susceptible to order-dependent bias


Todd, J and Heathcote, A and Whitson, LR and Mullens, D and Provost, A and Winkler, I, Mismatch negativity (MMN) to pitch change is susceptible to order-dependent bias, Frontiers in Neuroscience, 8 Article 180. ISSN 1662-4548 (2014) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2014 Todd, Heathcote, Whitson, Mullens, Provost and Wikler-Licenced under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License (CC BY 3.0)

DOI: doi:10.3389/fnins.2014.00180


Pattern learning facilitates prediction about upcoming events. Within the auditory system such predictions can be studied by examining effects on a component of the auditory-evoked potential known as mismatch negativity (MMN). MMN is elicited when sound does not conform to the characteristics inferred from statistical probabilities derived from the recent past. Stable patterning in sequences elevates confidence in automatically generated perceptual inferences about what sound should come next and when. MMN amplitude should be larger when sequence is highly stable compared to when it is more volatile. This expectation has been tested using a multi-timescale paradigm. In this study, two sounds of different duration alternate roles as a predictable repetitive "standard" and rare MMN-eliciting "deviation." The paradigm consists of sound sequences that differ in the rate at which the roles of two tones alternate, varying from slowly changing (high stability) to rapidly alternating (low stability). Previous studies using this paradigm discovered a "primacy bias" affecting how stability in patterning impacts MMN amplitude. The primacy bias refers to the observation that the effect of longer-term stability within sequences only appears to impact MMN to the sound first encountered as deviant (the sound that is rare when the sequence commences). This study determines whether this order-driven bias generalizes to sequences that contain two tones differing in pitch. By manipulating (within-subjects) the order in which sounds are encountered as deviants the data demonstrate the two defining characteristics of primacy bias: (1) sequence stability only ever impacts MMN amplitude to the first-deviant sound; and (2) within higher stability sequences, MMN is significantly larger when a sound is the first compared to when it is the second deviant. The results are consistent with a general order-driven bias exerting modulating effects on MMN amplitude over a longer timescale.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Cognitive and computational psychology
Research Field:Decision making
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in psychology
UTAS Author:Heathcote, A (Professor Andrew Heathcote)
ID Code:98944
Year Published:2014
Web of Science® Times Cited:22
Deposited By:Medicine
Deposited On:2015-03-10
Last Modified:2017-11-06
Downloads:298 View Download Statistics

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