skip to primary navigation skip to content

CBSU bibliography search

To request a reprint of a CBSU publication, please click here to send us an email (reprints may not be available for all publications)

Neuromagnetic and neuroelectric signs of pre-attentive word processing
PULVERMULLER, F., Kujala, T., Shtyrov, Y., Simola, J., Tiitinen, H., Alku, P., Alho, K., Martinkauppi, S., Ilmoniemi, R. & Naatanen, R.
In: Abstracts of 2nd International Congress on Mismatch Negativity and its Clinical Applications, (Eds: Elena Yago, Mari Tervaniemi, and Carles Escera), Barcelona: University of Barcelona, 57, June 2000.
Year of publication:
CBU number:
Brain responses to the same spoken syllable completing a Finnish word or pseudo-word were studied. Native Finnish-speaking subjects were instructed to ignore the sound stimuli and watch a silent movie while the mismatch negativity (MMN), an automatic index of experience-dependent auditory memory traces, was recorded. The MMN to each syllable was larger when it completed a word than when it completed a pseudo- word. This enhancement, reaching its maximum amplitude at about 150 ms after the words' recognition point, did not occur in foreign subjects who did not know any Finnish. These results provide the first demonstration of the presence of memory traces for spoken words in the human brain. Using whole-head magnetoencephalography (MEG), the intracranial origin of this word-specific MMN enhancement was located in the left superior temporal lobe.