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The time course of MMN source activation: An index of word recognition?
In: Fourth Conference on Mismatch Negativity (MMN) and its Clinical and Scientific Applications, p.39,
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The Mismatch Negativity is a well-known index of change detection, perception and memory trace activation. Its size reflects whether the deviant stimulus is a familiar element important in the processing of a cognitive meaning and its sources may even provide clues about the meaning of a deviant stimulus. Here, we ask whether the time course of the activation of MMN sources includes specific information about the cortical processing of meaningful stimuli. To this end, psycholinguistic measures of word recognition latencies were correlated with latency of MMN sources. Significant correlations were found, especially for MMN sources in the left superior temporal lobe, indicating a possib le cortical substrate of word recognition in both time and brain space. Further experiments and analyses were carried out to clarify whether the spatio-temporal pattern of brain activation would distinguish between the cortical processes of meaningful language items, phonemes in meaningless context and matched non-linguistic noises. Together, these results indicate that the time course of activation of the cortical sources of the Mismatch Negativity, and their spatiotemporal correlation and dynamics, include information about the brain mechanisms of language and cognitive processes.