Detection of stimulus deviance within primate primary auditory cortex: intracortical mechanisms of mismatch negativity (MMN) generation

Daniel C. Javit, Mitchell Steinschneider, Charles E. Schroeder, Herbert G. Vaughan, Joseph C. Arezzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

193 Scopus citations


Mismatch negativity (MMN) is a cognitive, auditory event-related potential (AEP) that reflects preattentive detection of stimulus deviance and indexes the operation of the auditory sensory ('echoic') memory system. MMN is elicited most commonly in an auditory oddball paradigm in which a sequence of repetitive standard stimuli is interrupted infrequently and unexpectedly by a physically deviant 'oddball' stimulus. Electro- and magnetoencephalographic dipole mapping studies have localized the generators of MMN to supratemporal auditory cortex in the vicinity of Heschl's gyrus, but have not determined the degree to which MMN reflects activation within primary auditory cortex (AI) itself. The present study, using moveable multichannel electrodes inserted acutely into superior temporal plane, demonstrates a significant contribution of AI to scalp-recorded MMN in the monkey, as reflected by greater response of AI to loud or soft clicks presented as deviants than to the same stimuli presented as repetitive standards. The MMN-like activity was localized primarily to supragranular laminae within AI. Thus, standard and deviant stimuli elicited similar degrees of initial, thalamocortical excitation. In contrast, responses within supragranular cortex were significantly larger to deviant stimuli than to standards. No MMN-like activity was detected in a limited number to passes that penetrated anterior and medial to AI. AI plays a well established role in the decoding of the acoustic properties of individual stimuli. The present study demonstrates that primary auditory cortex also plays an important role in processing the relationships between stimuli, and thus participates in cognitive, as well as purely sensory, processing of auditory information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)192-200
Number of pages9
JournalBrain research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 26 1994


  • AI
  • Auditory
  • Cognitive
  • Evoked potential
  • Intracortical
  • Multichannel recording
  • Primary auditory cortex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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