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Memory traces for inflectional affixes as shown by the mismatch negativity.
SHTYROV, Y. & PULVERMULLER, F.
The European Journal of Neuroscience, 15 (6), 1085-1091
Year of publication:
Mismatch negativity (MMN), an index of experience-dependent memory traces, was used to investigate the processing of grammatical affixes in the human brain. The MMN was elicited either by a verb stem or by an inflected verb form, phonetic contrasts being identical in both conditions. The topography of the mismatch responses showed clear left-hemispheric laterality in both conditions. However, the MMN to the inflected form occurred later than that for the stem. Furthermore, the inflected stimulus produced MMN maximal in centro-parietal sites, whereas stem-elicited MMN was more profound at more frontal sites. We suggest that these features of the MMN to inflected form indicate delayed activation of left-lateralised perisylvian cell assemblies that function as cortical memory traces of inflectional affixes.